Technology gives bacteria researchers new tools

Technology gives bacteria researchers new tools

February 27, 2004

February 26, 2004

Developing new weapons against antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi is the goal of ASU researchers working with technology donated from Hercules, Inc., a global manufacturer of chemical specialties used to make a variety of products for home, office and industrial markets.

Hercules has signed an agreement to transfer to ASU patents and know-how related to new microbiocides for developing potential new biotechnology products.

"This technology package from Hercules is exciting because it is a new approach to microbiocides that gives broad-spectrum control of many species of bacteria and possible other microorganisms," says Charles Arntzen, world-renowned plant biologist and holder of the Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Chair at ASU.

Stopping the growth of microbes, such as bacteria or fungi, has wide applications in health care, agriculture and environmental decontamination. Antibiotics have been successful products for the pharmaceutical industry, but their enormous benefits must also be balanced against emerging problems of microbial resistance. Current sales of antibiotics and other biocides in the global animal health industry are estimated to be $12 - $15 billion, and biocide use in aquaculture is valued at more than $1 billion and growing rapidly.

The new technology area will be incorporated into programs of ASU's Arizona Biodesign Institute (AzBio).


Written by: Joe Caspermeyer