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A Novel Antimicrobial Peptide Produced by Skin Commensal Bacteria

As the rise in antibiotic resistance to broad-spectrum antibiotics becomes a major public health threat, new approaches are needed for the management of infections.  UCSD investigators have utilized a different approach for skin infections and certain kinds of dermatological diseases, which has a lower impact on the homeostasis of the resident skin microflora. Imbalanced microflora contribute to the pathogenesis of skin inflammatory diseases, such as atopic dermatitis, rosacea and acne vulgaris. This invention provides potent, novel molecules for treating skin infections or disinfecting surfaces but may have fewer safety risks than broad spectrum antibiotics.

Compound for the Prevention Of Rosacea Inflammation

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterized by recurrent episodes of flushing, erythema, vasodilation, telangiectasia, edema, papules, pustules, hyperplasia, fibroplasia, itching, burning, pain, and skin tightness. Symptoms of rosacea are exacerbated by sun exposure, hot weather, immersion in hot water, high humidity, sweating, exercise, emotional stress, and spicy food. The skin condition usually begins between the ages of 30 to 50 and occurs more frequently in women than men. An estimated 16 million people are affected by rosacea inflammation in the United States. Oral and topical antibiotics are usually the first line of treatments prescribed for rosacea patients. However, they can cause serious side effects in some patients and do not address the underlying condition. Topical application of steroids may also help alleviate the symptoms, but it can also aggravate the condition. In addition, long term treatments can be inconvenient, lasting for as long as two years.

Inflammation Induction and Tissue Repair

Inflammation is an important response for resisting infection and repairing damage. Under circumstances such as cancer or infectious diseases, stimulation of the inflammatory response is therapeutic. It is unclear why the existing adjuvant therapies tend to be more effective in the treatment of some disease, such as breast and colon cancer, than others. This invention identifies additional ways to stimulate the immune response and induce inflammation in order to accelerate repair of disease-related tissue injury.

New Matrices for Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery

Decellularization of tissues has recently emerged as a major player in the field of regenerative medicine and offers the possibility of producing a scaffold that closely mimics the physical and chemical cues seen by cells in vivo. Materials produced in this manner often have positive angiogenic and chemoattractant properties. Despite the availability of several injectable materials, there has yet to be identified an engineered material that avoids immune complications and encourages new fat formation. And while many tissues share similar extracellular matrix (ECM) elements, each tissue has its own complex composition and concentration of chemical constituents, which are known to regulate numerous cell processes including attachment, survival, migration, proliferation, and differentiation. There continues to be a need for improved compositions for loose connective tissue repair, regeneration and cell culturing that will closely mimic the complexity of natural adipose extracellular matrix.

Firmocidin, A New Small-Molecule Antibiotic to Treat MRSA, Staph, and Streptococcus Infections

Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), a bacterial strain that is highly resistant to some antibiotics, is a major problem at healthcare delivery sites such as hospitals and health clinics. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005 there were an estimated 478,000 hospitalizations with a diagnosis of S. aureus infection in U.S. hospitals. Of these, approximately 278,000 hospitalizations were related to MRSA. The estimated number of people developing a serious MRSA infection (i.e., invasive) in 2005 was greater than 94,000. Approximately 19,000 persons died during a hospital stay related to these serious MRSA infections.Serious MRSA disease is still predominantly related to exposures to healthcare delivery. About 85 percent of all invasive MRSA infections were associated with healthcare, and of those, about two-thirds occurred outside of the hospital, while about one third occurred during hospitalization.

Anti-inflammatory and Chemoprotective Compounds for Prevention of Diseases caused by Chronic Inflammation.

While inflammation is a beneficial component of the body’s response to harmful stimuli, prolonged or excessive inflammation can damage tissues and initiate a cascade of events that culminate in a wide variety of diseases. Anti-inflammatory drugs include steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) and immune selective anti-inflammatory derivatives. However, these agents have undesirable side effects and a need remains for novel anti-inflammatory agents that exert their effects through different modes of action.

Marine Natural Products

Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at UC San Diego is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. With the oceans covering 70 percent of the earth's surface, it is no surprise that approximately two-thirds of the world's animal phyla are found in marine environments and many are exclusively marine. SIO scientists were among the first to explore the natural product chemistry of marine organisms and this research helped to develop the field of marine natural products chemistry and the realization that the oceans harbor myriad new organic molecules with utility for the development of pharmaceuticals and other products. This research led to the discovery of hundreds of new compositions of matter for new products—some of which are already well progressed into commercial development. Two compounds are now entering phase II clinical trials. One of these, Salinosporamide A, is a potent proteasome inhibitor. The second compound, which is derived from the fungal metabolite halimide, acts as a vascular disrupting agent.

A New Method To Accelerate Tissue and Wound Healing Rates and Reduce Swelling and Scar Formation

 Skin wounds are today typically treated with surface antibiotics and many different forms of bandages enriched with antibiotics and growth factors. There are numerous wound healing agents currently being used today.

Broad Spectrum Natural Protein Antibiotic

Brief description not available

Natural Products for Cancer Therapeutics

Brief description not available

Vaccines Against Acne and Acne-Associated Diseases

Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria is involved in many human polymicrobial diseases. It is the causative agent in acne vulgaris, a human polymicrobial disease. Acne vulgaris is the most common skin disease, affecting more than 85 percent of people at some time during their lives and currently affects more than fifty million people in the U.S. Current antibiotic therapy for acne lesions provides a non-specific treatment that kills the majority of skin bacteria and impacts the homeostasis of skin- and intestinal-resident flora. Acne vulgaris can result in severe inflammatory lesions that are highly associated with P. acnes infection. There are no appropriate therapeutic modalities that are long-lasting and systemically effective and that specifically suppress P. acnes-induced pathogenesis and inflammation. In addition, these bacteria have the ability to trigger inflammatory responses. Many antibiotics have been used for acne treatment, but these antibiotics in general are non-specific, short lasting, and normally are applied when acne lesions have already occurred (such as in late stages of acne). Available topical treatments for acne lesions, including drugs, are palliative and effective only while treatment is maintained. When treatment is discontinued, increased acne gain inevitably results.

Marine Organism Yields a Patented Family of Antitumor/Antibiotic Compounds

Actinomycetes are well known soil bacteria that were once believed to occur in the ocean only when washed in from land. Today, it is clear that unique populations of marine actinomycetes reside in ocean sediments and that these bacteria are fundamentally different from those on land. Although terrestrial actinomycetes have been the source of many of today's more than 120 drugs, marine actinomycetes have only recently been incorporated into the discovery process. These bacteria are now proving to be a particularly rich source of unique natural products, many of which display potent biological activities.

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