The uncontrolled use of antibiotics over the past few years has resulted in an increasing number of pathogens becoming resistant to these “magic bullets”. Drug-resistant and multidrug-resistant pathogens cause major problems, particularly in hospitals. New drugs and new strategies are urgently needed but the research required for the development of new substances is an economically unattractive venture for many pharmaceutical companies. The DZIF intends to take on this issue by establishing screening platforms for the discovery of new agents. The focus is on finding mechanisms and target sites that could contribute to the development of novel therapies which are also effective against multidrug-resistant bacteria. The use of potential agents that are already known is also being tested.
By means of new techniques such as genome mining, DZIF scientists look for new gene clusters and “silent” gene sections that could provide the code for the synthesis of potential agents.
An important step towards the development of potential new drugs is to research various mechanisms of action of substances that are already known.