3 million Euro programme to discover anti-cancer drugs from marine fungi

Hypha Discovery Ltd provides natural products expertise to EU-funded anticancer drug discovery programme

London, 26th May 2011

Hypha Discovery Ltd attended the inaugural meeting for the “Marine Fungi” project in Kiel, Germany, which aims to identify natural products with the potential to be developed as anticancer agents. Eleven institutions from seven countries have set up a consortium which received 3 million EURO funding over a three year period from the European Commission, under the “Seventh Framework Programme” (FP7).

The project, coordinated by the “Kieler Wirkstoffzentrum KiWiZ”, will focus on the potential of marine organisms to produce compounds for development as anti-cancer agents, by fermenting fungi sourced from unique habitats, e.g. tropical coral reefs and endemic macroalgae and sponges from the Mediterranean. One particular aim of the project is to enable efficient and sustainable production of marine natural products in the laboratory at relatively large scales, whilst avoiding harm to the natural environment.

“We’re delighted to have this opportunity to work alongside such a diverse and complementary group of experts on this project”, said Dr Liam Evans, Chief Scientific Officer at Hypha. “This programme also strengthens our existing collaboration with European ScreeningPort, with whom we jointly provide a small-molecule hit compound discovery service to academia, using our unique library of higher fungal natural products. We very much look forward to the discovery of exciting anticancer compounds with this new consortium.”



About Hypha Discovery Ltd
Hypha is based in London, and specialises in the production of novel bioactive small molecule natural products by fermenting a diverse and exotic collection of higher (mushroom) fungi.

The natural products characterised to date from the MycoDiverse™ library of 10,000 fermentation fractions have a very high rate of structural novelty and rarity and with molecular weights mostly between 200 and 400 da are typically smaller than other sources of natural products. This library is screened by Hypha’s pharmaceutical and academic clients and has out-performed other screening libraries, particularly against “difficult-to-hit” drug targets.

Hypha also works with pharmaceutical and agrochemical companies, by scaling up the production of mammalian and microbial metabolites for toxicology and pharmacology evaluation, and also provides small molecule contract fermentation and purification services.