EU R&I Programmes


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major public health threat. Infections caused by resistant bacteria are increasing and causing Europe to face soaring costs both in terms of lives and public health expenditure. Despite the urgent need for new antimicrobials, very few new, effective antibiotics have been brought to the market in the last decades. The ENABLE project, within IMI’s New Drugs for Bad Bugs (ND4BB) program, is working to advance the development of potential antibiotics against Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli. The ultimate goal of the project is to develop attractive antimicrobial candidates for testing in the clinic, bringing the possibility of new antibiotics to treat Gram-negative infections one step closer to patients.

Period: 01/02/2014 – 31/10/2021

Budget: 311.373€

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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a challenge to human health and health-systems, and we need novel antimicrobials or drugs that can re-sensitize multi drug resistant (MDR) bacteria to existing antimicrobials. Metabolic enzymes have largely been ignored in the search for antimicrobial targets, and they are an untapped resource. The aim of INNOTARGETS is to train ESRs in highly innovative approaches to identify metabolic drug targets in pathogenic bacteria. The training will deliver ESRs that can become creative, future research team leaders within industry or academia. The network joins 7 academic and 3 non-academic organizations, including two antibiotic discovery companies. The training is multi-disciplinary and trans-sectoral and provides 432 person-months of training to 12 ESRs. The types of targets foreseen are: 1) Metabolic enzymes that are essential for infection. These enzymes will be identified using transposon libraries 2) Redundant enzymes, which can be blocked in parallel. Relevant pairs of enzymes will be identified using metabolic models, and a search for bioactive molecules, with affinity for more than one target will be carried out using a novel screening platform. 3) Metabolic enzymes which are essential for the expression of resistance mechanisms or spread of resistance plasmids in MDR bacteria. Putative targets for all three types of reactions will be validated using cell culture and animal models.

INNOTARGETS will establish a joint training syllabus designed to widen the career prospects of ESRs and optimize their professional competences. It includes training through research, as well as secondments, network wide training courses and summer schools, self-directed learning, workshops and training through interaction with external partners and visiting scientists.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement number 956154. 

Period: 01/03/2021 – 28/02/2025

Budget: 250.904,88€

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BREAKthrough, a new Europe-wide Doctoral Network funded within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) framework, will take on the most notorious type of superbug, Gram-negative bacteria, whose cell envelope (“walls”) prevent antibiotics from entering. The research aims to damage the cell envelope so that it no longer forms an obstacle and enables antibiotics to pass through and kill the bacterial cell. To develop novel compounds that can do this, BREAKthrough brings together experts from both academia and industry, covering fields like bacterial genetics, biophysics, cell biology, organic chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, and drug discovery. The project’s outcomes will have a significant scientific and societal impact: not only will the new compounds open new avenues for developing new antibiotics, but they can also form new effective treatments through synergy with already existing antibiotics.The project partners of the BREAKthrough Doctoral Network, will recruit and train eleven doctoral candidates (DCs).

This project is funded by the European Union.

Period: 01/01/2023 – 31/12/2026

Budget: 251.971,20€

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