Development of the antibiotic Corallopyronin A against filariasis

More than 72 million people in the tropics are infected with the nematodes Onchocerca volvulus, Wuchereria bancrofti and Brugia malayi. Infections with these worms can lead to severe dermatitis and blindness or elephantiasis - a disease in which the legs in particular become extremely enlarged. In dogs, a similar parasite can cause life-threatening canine heartworm disease. With the natural compound Corallopyronin A, Prof. Achim Hörauf and his team at the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology (IMMIP) of the UKB found an active substance that kills the long-lived worms and can thus stop or heal the devastating consequences.

In cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the European Union, the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) and the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI), the scientists are optimizing the production process of the natural substance and developing the substance towards approval as an antibiotic. Until now, the project has raised around 7.5 million euros in public funding. Preclinical studies are being finalized and the production process for clinical trial material by a pharmaceutical company is prepared. The patent agency PROvendis GmbH has been supporting the scientists since the beginning of the project with IP rights and the contracts with research partners and companies.