ENABLE takes on Oxford antibiotic resistance programme

Press Release
17 November 2016

The University of Oxford takes the next step in targeting antimicrobial resistance, with help of the results and hit compounds delivered by the European Lead Factory. The Oxford team, led by Professor Chris Schofield, has got the opportunity to collaborate with the European Gram-Negative Antibacterial Engine (ENABLE) project to further progress this programme towards clinical development.

The Oxford team had the EU Lead Factory screen their potential target against the Joint European Compound Library of the then >300,000 compounds provided by the industry partners. The high throughput screen and initial triaging provided 50 qualified hits. Multiple series of compounds were validated through resynthesis, biochemical and biophysical profiling at the European Screening Centre site in Newhouse, complemented with ligand–protein crystallography and antimicrobial evaluation at University of Oxford. According to EU Lead Factory’s Phil Jones (University of Dundee) “close collaboration with the Oxford team resulted in highly potent and selective compounds with favourable physicochemical properties, less than 5 months after the initial hit list had been delivered.”

With these results Professor Schofield turned to ENABLE, a project funded through IMI with the mission to develop programmes against gram-negative pathogens to clinical trials. 
Professor Chris Schofield stresses the importance of EU programmes such as ENABLE and the European Lead Factory in “transforming an almost impossible task for an individual academic group into a solid scientific and commercially viable pathway.”

Further information

European projects major boost for antibiotic programme from University of Oxford (press release).