This is a collaborative R21 application between Raffi Aroian of the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and William Fenical of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD. This program addresses the discovery and preclinical biological development of new anthelmintic drugs to treat the single largest class of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), those caused by parasitic nematodes. The NTDs of focus in this application are trichuriasis and hookworm disease, although the results of this research are likely to apply more broadly, e.g., to Ascariasis, strongyloidiasis, lymphatic filariasis, and onchocerciasis. Currently, there are very few drugs (anthelmintics) available for these diseases that affect over 2 billion people and reports of greatly reduced efficacy are mounting. In general, the effort to develop new anthelmintic drugs has been drastically underfunded, which has led to a situation where the worldwide healthcare system is ill-prepared to prevent and deal with the development of resistance to the few drugs available. This program combines the extensive biological experience of the Aroian laboratory, with the chemical resources generated in more than 20 years of discovery-based marine microbiology research. A large collection of more than 15,000 strains of actinomycete bacteria, that have been cultivated, extracted and fractionated, now form the foundation of a collaborative program involving biological screening in numerous anthelmintic bioassays. In preliminary testing, several highly active fractions, apparently containing new chemical entities, have been discovered suggesting that an R21 pilot project is likely to lead to significant advances in anthelmintic drug discovery.

Public Health Relevance

This program addresses the discovery and preclinical biological development of new anthelmintic drugs to treat the single largest class of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), those caused by parasitic nematodes. The NTDs of focus here are trichuriasis and hookworm disease, and the results are also likely to more broadly apply, e.g., to Ascariasis, strongyloidiasis, lymphatic filariasis, and onchocerciasis. Currently, there are very few drugs (anthelmintics) available for these diseases that affect over 2 billion people world-wide. Reports of greatly reduced efficacy in existing drugs are mounting, leading to a situation where international healthcare systems are ill-prepared to prevent and deal with these diseases and development of resistance to the few drugs available.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
1R21AI101566-01A1
Application #
8701856
Study Section
Synthetic and Biological Chemistry B Study Section (SBCB)
Program Officer
Rogers, Martin J
Project Start
2014-02-01
Project End
2016-01-31
Budget Start
2014-02-01
Budget End
2015-01-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$209,250
Indirect Cost
$74,250
Name
University of California San Diego
Department
Zoology
Type
Schools of Earth Sciences/Natur
DUNS #
804355790
City
La Jolla
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
92093