Deep Sea Drugs?
The global issue of tackling antibiotic resistant bacteria is massive. It is a race against time, developing something before our current line of defensive is broken through. In order to outwit the bacteria, scientists have to think outside the box, in fact, outside of the lab, and into the sea. The potential of deep-sea creatures is becoming recognised, but this could the first major application of knowledge gained in the deep ocean. A company, AquaPharm from Oban has discovered a compound, AQP-182, by screening more than 10,000 marine micro-organisms for compounds with anti-infective/inflammatory properties (read more here). There remains a big leap to make this compound into a therapeutic compound, but with a total of 16 compounds showing potential characteristics of anti-biotics, there is hope that some will make it through the long and arduous pipeline into the clinic where they are much needed.
What other hopes lie at the bottom of the sea bed? Considering they are the largest biome of the global biosphere, they could be many cures and treatments to be found. But at the moment, it the most unknown of the biospheres. For example, it is estimated that in the deep-sea of the Mediterranean, there are over 2805 species, 66% of which are undiscovered (read more here). For pharmaceutical researchers, and drug development that represents enormous possibility