With our spin-out diagnostic partner Myconostica (winner of the North West BioNow Biomedical Project of the Year Award), we have developed clinically-validated and CE-marked detection of Aspergillus and Pneumocystis DNA from clinical samples. We have used the extracted DNA to detect antifungal resistance mutations directly, even in culture negative samples, and this is being clinically implemented for the first time for a fungus. We have identified novel anti-fungal drugs, one of which is in Phase 2.
5 YEARS, Fungal lung disease
- expand our cohort of extremely well-characterised patients with fungal disease (in the UK National Aspergillosis Centre) for study with novel immunotherapies and anti-fungal drugs.
- combine genotyping/phenotyping of patients with chronic and allergic aspergillosis to provide specific genetic fingerprints for each disease.
- prioritise candidate genes for functional studies in model systems.
Consequently, we will develop prognostic and diagnostic tools, as well as a rich stratified clinical testing capability for novel anti-fungals and immunotherapy interventions.
5YD-Fungal lung diseases
- define the anti-microbial drug exposure targets using experimental models of infection, e.g in Cystic Fibrosis.
- study alternative strategies for the management of azole resistance in different patient groups (azole resistance rate >20% in 2009), including aerosolised anti-fungals and immunotherapy.
- develop genetic markers to allow targeted intervention to stratified patients in trials of the increasing numbers of biologics/immunotherapies (such anti-IL13 or CCR4 inhibitors).
- help deliver the first of a completely new class of anti-fungal agents (with F2G).