This project collected data from more than 3,280 feet below in Azorean waters and gather researchers from Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL), Universidade dos Açores and a Biotechnological Center in California, as well as external elements that helped them to collect the marine bacteria.
“We are talking about prodigiosins that we isolated from the bacteria collected in the Azores and which are antibiotics, anticancer, antimalarial drugs and immunosuppressants. So, they have a great range of pharmacological activity and some of them are already being developed in pharmaceutical form,”, says Ana Lobo, from the chemistry department of Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologias de Lisboa of UNL.
According to the researcher, this project goals are precisely “to discover marine compounds” of marine bacteria that “might be useful” as “possible drugs” or “lead to the creation” of them. After the collection, a triage was made in a Biotechnological Center in San Diego, CA.
Ana Lobo explains that it “was interesting” that her team found a non-studied marine strain with some compounds that existed in the “terrestrial species.” The Portuguese scientist say that they are starting to do some worldwide clinical trials because there are currently no “drugs” derived from this compounds to be administrated to patients. If the result prove positive, it will be a while until a new substance get to the market, but when they do - it will be a great contribution from the Azores to the world.