On July 1, 2022, Intact Genomics announced that it has received a three-year Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Direct Phase II grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institute of Health. The total award is 2.94M. The company will develop new technology for rapid dissection of the biosynthesis of antiMRSA antibiotics produced in co-culture by extremophilic fungi through the development of Fungal Artificial Chromosomes (FACs).
“High through-put genome sequencing technologies opened the door for the discovery of natural products from filamentous fungi for therapeutic, agricultural, and other applications,” said Dr. Chengcang Charles Wu, founder, and CEO of Intact Genomics. “During a span of 50 years, from the 1940s to the 1990s, microbial natural product discovery provided the most important sources for fungicides, insecticides, antibiotics, anti-cancer agents, immune-modulators, and anthelminthic agents. However, since the 1990s, microbial natural product discovery has become became less productive due to rediscovery issues, low throughput, and lack of relevant new technologies to unveil less abundant or not easily detected drug-like natural products. New discovery technologies of fungal natural products including antiMRSA antibiotics are urgently needed to meet the rapidly rising demand for anti-infectious, anticancer, and other therapeutic agents in the future. Sponsored by NIAID, Intact Genomics will collaborate with Dr. Andrea Stierle laboratory of the University of Montana to develop antiMRSA antibiotic biosynthesis to solve these problems.”