Nosopharm, a young innovative biotech company dedicated to the medicinal mining of the microbiological biodiversity, and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), announce the strengthening of their partnership in the field of medicinal mining of the microbial genera Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus.

The collaboration between Nosopharm and the DGIMI laboratory (UMR 1333 INRA-Université Montpellier 2) was initiated in 2009. Its purpose is the research of novel antibiotic molecules produced by the bacteria Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus. This scientific and technologic partnership associates the strong R&D expertise of Nosopharm regarding bioactive microbial secondary metabolites, and the unique expertise of the DGIMI laboratory in the microbiology of the bacteria Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus. To date, the results of the collaboration between Nosopharm and the DGIMI laboratory of INRA led to the filing of 6 patent applications covering 3 novel antimicrobial classes. Nosopharm and INRA decided to strengthen their partnership by extending it up to the end of 2013.

Philippe Villain-Guillot, CEO of Nosopharm, states: « The discovery and development of novel antibiotics with efficacy against multiresistant bacterial pathogens represent a big challenge for public health. Historically, the great majority of antibiotics has been discovered from microbial biodiversity. In this context, Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus represent a new and promising bioresource, but still poorly known by the pharmaceutical industry. That is what led us to propose a R&D partnership to INRA and the DGIMI laboratory. Indeed, the DGIMI laboratory is a global reference in Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus, and it owns the largest collection of strains of these microbial genera. Our results confirm the strong pharmacological potential of these bacteria. »

Alain Givaudan, Research Director at INRA and head of the team « Functional genomics & bacterial virulence factors » of the DGIMI laboratory, adds: « Our collaboration with Nosopharm is interesting to us at two levels. On one hand, from a fundamental point of view, it enables us to deepen our knowledge in the field of the secondary metabolism of Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus. On the other hand, from an applied point of view, this collaboration brings us a complementary valorisation to our work and to our collection of micro-organisms in the field of human health. »

Nosopharm and INRA aim to file further patent applications in 2012 and 2013.

About Nosopharm SAS:

Nosopharm ( is a young innovative company dedicated to the medicinal mining of the microbial biodiversity. Nosopharm has developed a unique expertise in the screening and the characterization of bioactive secondary metabolites produced by an original microbial bioresource: the bacterial genera Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus. This innovative know-how enables Nosopharm to discover and develop novel antibiotic classes for the treatment of multiresistant bacterial infections. The company was incorporated in February 2009. It is located in Nimes (France), and currently employs 4 people.

About INRA:

The French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) is a missionoriented public research institute under the supervision of the French Ministries for Research and Agriculture, and carries out research in the fields of agriculture, food and the environment. As the leading agricultural research institute in Europe, and the second largest in the world for the number of its publications, INRA aims at ensuring healthy and high-quality food, competitive and sustainable agriculture and an environment that is preserved and developed, in the context of global climate change and a projected world population of 9 billion by 2050. INRA maintains scientific partnerships with major scientific research institutes worldwide, universities, agronomy and veterinary schools, and is committed to take part in building the European Research Area.

About DGIMI laboratory:

The DGIMI « Diversity, Genomes & Interactions Microorganisms-Insects » ( laboratory results from the merger of the « Écologie microbienne des insectes et interactions hôte-pathogène » (EMIP) laboratory and the « Biologie intégrative et virologie des insectes » (BIVI) laboratory. The research developed in the laboratory is dedicated to the investigation of the mechanisms of interaction between insects and their pathogens and parasites. This research takes into account the diversity of the partners, and relies on the knowledge of their genomes.

About Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus:

Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus are symbiotic bacteria of insect-pathogenic nematodes. These bacteria have an original life cycle that requires the production of a great diversity of bioactive secondary metabolites. Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus represent a high-value bioresource for drug discovery.