St George’s, University of London has joined the ENABLE project, which aims to combat the major threat of antimicrobial resistance by bringing together research organisations and biotechnology companies.

calendar-icon 16 November 2016

Alongside St George's, Helperby Therapeutics has also joined ENABLE. Helperby is a biotech company pioneering the use of antibiotic ‘resistance breakers’, which was founded by Professor Sir Anthony Coates in 2002 as a spin-off from St George’s, with Dr Yanmin Hu spearheading the drug development programs. The technology is based upon patented inventions by Dr Yanmin Hu and Anthony Coates.

ENABLE, or the European Gram-Negative Antibacterial Engine project, has the specific goal of delivering attractive antimicrobial candidates for testing in the clinic. Membership of ENABLE brings significant grant funding and the opportunity to work with the network of ENABLE organisations. The project is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). 

The funding received will be used by both St George’s and Helperby to advance three of Helperby’s antibiotic resistance breakers. Resistance breakers can be used in conjunction with existing antibiotics to overcome resistance in multiplying bacteria.

Professor Jenny Higham, Principal of St George’s, University of London, said: “We are delighted to become part of this project, which represents a very important scientific collaboration between the public and private sectors. This is another example of St George’s taking a leading role in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.”

Dr Yanmin Hu, the Principal Investigator of ENABLE in St George’s and Head of research in Helperby Therapeutics, said: “We are excited by the clinical potentials of a number of breakthroughs in recent years in the area of antibiotic resistance. Participating in ENABLE is the logical next step in bringing these important pre-clinical discoveries closer towards the bedside.”

Professor Sir Anthony Coates, Professor of Medical Microbiology at St George’s and Helperby’s founder, said: “We are honoured to become part of the ENABLE project, which is a huge endorsement of our approach of using antibiotic resistance breakers to rescue existing drugs from resistance. We look forward to working with St George’s and other ENABLE members in the shared and urgent fight to overcome microbial resistance.”