Discovering an Antibiofilm Therapy for Urinary Tract Infections

Ebba Biotech welcomes you to listen to Dr. Ashraf Zarkan from University of Cambridge presenting his work on antibiofilm therapies for urinary tract infections using EbbaBiolight.

About the speaker: Ashraf Zarkan is a microbiologist with a pharmaceutical background, holding a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge. He did his bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry followed by an MSc in Microbiology. He has a broad repertoire of training skills that range from experimental research to computational approaches to data analysis. Ash is passionate about tackling the increasing problem with antibiotic resistance, and his research has been focused on developing antibiotic adjuvants. He has a solid experience in bacterial signalling and antibiotic action, side effects, and combinations with adjuvants.

Abstract: Serious bacterial infections represent an unprecedented worldwide threat, due mainly to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria for which we have limited therapies. Antibiotic resistance is on the rise and has recently been identified as one of the World Health Organization’s global health challenges in the next decade. A key aspect of the antibiotic resistance problem is the ability of bacteria to form biofilms, which provide protection from both antibiotics and the host immune system. Biofilms are implicated in chronic infections such as urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs are among the most prevalent bacterial infections, affecting 150 million people per year worldwide, with 75% of infections occurring due to uropathogenic E. coli. Research by Dr Zarkan and his colleagues from the University of Cambridge highlighted the inhibition of an E. coli enzyme as a plausible route to inhibit biofilm formation, thereby reduce pathogenicity and increase antibiotic effectiveness in UTIs. In this webinar, you will learn how a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and Ebba Biotech AB successfully confirmed the antibiofilm properties of a set of novel inhibitors in clinical strains of uropathogenic E. coli. The current focus is in optimising these hits and completing pre-clinical development to be able to move further into clinical trials.

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