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New melanocortins with antimicrobial activity
Coopera/ 22 de Març de 2012

New melanocortins with antimicrobial activity (12 IT 54W2 3OK8)
An Italian public foundation committed to healthcare and translational medicine has developed a new invention concerning novel synthetic compounds derived from MSH (Melanocyte stimulating hormone). Advantages of these new synthetic compounds derive from a broad spectrum of activity that includes yeast and bacteria and very low toxicity, similarly to the natural melanocortins. The public foundation is looking for industrial partners interested in co-development and testing.
Country: Italy  Date: 21.03.2012
The melanocortins are an endogenous family of pleiotropic peptides derived from pro-opiomelanocortin. The melanocortin peptide - melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) - has antimicrobial properties and contributes to protection of the host against infections, much as for other natural antimicrobials. The synthetic peptides showed potent candidacidal and bactericidal effects, including azole-resistant Candida strains. Furthermore, synthetic melanocortins exerted antimicrobial action against two bacterial strains: Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.

Innovative Aspects:
MSH exerts antimicrobial effects. However, the natural molecule is unstable and unsuitable for clinical use. Synthetic derivatives, chemically stable and resistant to enzymatic degradation, could form the basis for novel antimicrobial therapies. Advantages of these new synthetic compounds are:
1.Broad spectrum of activity that includes yeast and bacteria;
2.Very low toxicity , similarly to the natural melanocortins.
Moreover, the pharmaceutical preparation of the invention may include one or more other active principles, either candidacidal, thus possibly showing a synergistic effect, or not. In particular, there may be enclosed: antimicrobials, such as antibacterials, antifungals, antiviruses, antiparasitics.

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