500,000 euros for further development of new drug against TB

New research led by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Amsterdam UMC will receive 5 tons of research funding from NWO for the preclinical further development of a new drug against tuberculosis.

11/06/2020 | 3:07 PM

Organic chemist Eelco Ruijter is involved from VU Amsterdam and Wilbert Bitter and Alex Speer from VU and Amsterdam UMC. Other partners in the research project are Erasmus MC and Radboudumc. The project will receive 500,000 euros from the NWO programme NACTAR.

The next two years the researchers will work on the research project, named Targeting Mycobacterium tuberculosis, setting up the stage for type VII secretion inhibitors. The project focuses on research into antimicrobial substances that can tackle the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB).

The disease, which kills 1.5 million people per year, has become more difficult to treat due to the rise of resistant bacterial strains. Project leader Prof. Wilbert Bitter: “Our research is now in a difficult intermediate stage: experiments are subject to strict safety requirements and are therefore expensive, and companies are not yet directly interested. The experiments that we can now do are vital for convincing them about the effect of our new drug.”

Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide threat to public health. So there is a huge demand for new drugs and ways of controlling bacterial infections. Science and industry have therefore joined forces in the research programme NACTAR. The collaboration within the research projects must contribute to a smooth utilisation of research results within the Dutch healthcare system.