Drug Discovery Hub

Harnessing natural product diversity to combat multi-drug resistance.

The SA/UK ADD Hub is a multi-institution, bilateral consortium of researchers from leading institutions in South Africa and the United Kingdom. We apply our wealth of expertise to setting up an accelerator programme for the discovery of new antibiotic compounds to combat antimicrobial resistance in bacterial pathogens. The project aims to identify and deliver characterized novel hit compounds from biodiverse marine and terrestrial environments that can be progressed to lead optimization.

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Our approach

Recent advances in state-of-the-art de-replication approaches, guided by machine learning and AI,  allow us to rapidly identify previously-known compounds in extracts and deprioritised, allowing us to target new molecules.

The ADD Hub Consortium looks to unlock the potential resources contained in marine sponges (and their associated microbiomes) by systematically screening NP extracts against bacteria for antimicrobial activity.

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Why “Natural Products?”

Natural Products provide an unprecedented starting point for antibiotic discovery; NPs and their synthetic analogues are the sources of >80% of all clinically-utilised antibiotics. They represent the only validated source of chemical diversity capable of delivering a sustained pipeline of novel antibacterial drug candidates.

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