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Polypharmakos and CABI to Develop New Antimicrobial Products

New antimicrobial products to be developed from CABI's culture collection

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Polypharmakos Limited, a spin-out company from the UK's Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and University of Cambridge, and international not-for-profit organization CABI have signed a research collaboration and licensing agreement to develop novel products from CABI's Culture Collection. 

CABI's Culture Collection consists of 30,000 strains of optimally preserved fungi and bacteria isolated from diverse ecosystems from around the world a reflection of CABI's work and mission to improve lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment. 

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The three-year research collaboration will evaluate a selected set of extracts from CABI's collection to identify and characterize compounds or mixtures with potential application in therapeutic or consumer products. The principal focus will be on novel antimicrobials. 

Dr. John Normanton, CEO of Polypharmakos, said, "This collaboration with CABI fully complements our existing access to the collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Access to both collections adheres to access and benefit sharing arrangements with both organizations. The collaboration forms a powerful research alliance between three centers of excellence—CABI, Kew, and Cambridge that leverages their complementary skills."

Polypharmakos will fund the research work and have the right to develop and commercialize any products arising from the collaboration. CABI will earn royalty payments should Polypharmakos succeed in licensing or commercializing these products. CABI also gains an option to acquire an equity stake in Polypharmakos.

Dr. Daniel Elger, CEO of CABI, said, "We are excited to be collaborating with Polypharmakos to unlock value from our microbial collection. The collection provides diverse starting points from which beneficial products could be developed and revenues earned to support CABI’s mission."

The Programme Management Committee overseeing the collaboration will consist of professor Monique Simmonds OBE (Kew), Dr. Matthew Ryan (CABI), and professors Mark Holmes & Clare Bryant (Cambridge), along with business development representatives from Polypharmakos and CABI.