Flavodoxin inhibitors to kill resistant bacteria (FLAV4AMR) EU project launched.

Antimicrobial resistance is responsible for 33,000 deaths annually in the European Union, and the costs of medical care and productivity losses are estimated in 1.5 billion euros. In this context, Helicobacter pylori (Hp) has been identified by the WHO as one of the pathogens for which it is urgent to find new antibacterial compounds, due to the high incidence of antibiotic-resistant strains along with the fact that half of the world's population suffers from gastric infections caused by Hp, and because Hp infection constitutes a risk factor for gastric cancer.

The Spanish-Franco-German project Flavodoxin inhibitors to kill resistant bacteria (FLAV4AMR), has been conceived as a transnational collaboration that brings together all experiences and resources needed to develop new antimicrobial compounds that could enter clinical testing.

The project is led by Javier Sancho (Biochemistry Professor, and researcher at the University Institute for Research on Biocomputing and Physics of Complex Systems - BIFI). "Our ultimate goal is to develop new flavodoxin inhibitors having significant antimicrobial activity, both for Hp and for other pathogens that present significant problems because of their antibiotic resistance, and that can reach the market within a reasonable time, then, having a high impact on medicine," highlighted Javier Sancho during the kick-off meeting.

The research consortium

The FLAV4AMR project was approved under the sixth call of the European JPIAMR program, an initiative to fight antibiotic resistance. The four research groups that collaborate in FLAV4AMR include research groups well known in their respective scientific fields, and so, they complement each other as follows:

  1. BIFI-University of Zaragoza, Spain:

Javier Sancho – Biochemistry: compound design, clinical chemistry of compounds

José Antonio Aínsa – Microbiology

  1. École Nationale Vétérinaire (INRA) Toulouse, France:

Alain Bousquet-Mélou – Pharmacology: modelling of PK / PD in vitro

  1. Research Center Borstel, Germany:

Ulrich E. Schaible – Microbiology: microbiome analysis, host pathogen interaction and tests on the ESKAPES group of multidrug resistant pathogens.

Dominik Schwudke – Bioanalytical chemistry: PK / PD measurements with LC-MS/MS

  1. Pasteur Institute, Paris, France:

Eliette Touati – Gastric cancer research: mouse model of Hp infection