Scientific Asset

The Foundation Istituto Insubrico di Ricerca per la Vita has got a great Scientific Asset, inherited by Pfizer Vicuron. This heritage was built up first in 1997 with Biosearch Italia.
Its value essentially consists on the range of the elements it is made of: extracts, strains and chemical molecules already purified.

The Scientific Asset:

  • 207.000 extracts
  • 20.000 strains (ever-increasing)
  • Chemical Library (10.000 elements)
Chemical Library
The Foundation has got a Chemical Library made of about 10.000 molecules. This molecules where obtained through chemical synthesis during the years spent in research and production at the Center in Gerenzano.

For every single molecule, the noun, the chemical structure and the chemical-physical features are known; otherwise, their biological activities haven’t been explored yet. For this reason, the Chemical Library is a resource with really interesting potentialities.

All the compounds are collected and preserved as dusts; each compound has got its own label for the identification (with a code).

In the final analysis, the Library offers a great compounds’ variety that can be useful for several primary tests. Moreover, because it is adaptable to the samples’ robotic analysis, it is appropriate for the large scale screening.

Extracts’ Library
Today, the Foundation Istituto Insubrico di Ricerca per la Vita, continuing the research’s tradition of the previous Companies, can work on resources that are considered of great value and unique all over the world. The collection is made of 166.000 extracts.

The samples have been obtained by 38.000 actinomycetes and 25.500 fungi, thanks to innovative fermentation techniques and different methodologies for the samples’ preparation. Such methodologies are able to warrant the best microorganisms metabolic expression.

So, the Center has got a lot of molecules with almost unexplored biological potentialities. That’s why such molecules are ideal for a lot of screening tests (robotic or not) to find new compounds with pharmacological activity.

Strains’ Library 
Since today, the most important activity of the Research Center in Gerenzano has been the research of new antibiotics from microorganisms. The great success essentially comes from the ability to isolate rare actinomycetes that have a potential diversity bigger than those known at the industrial level. The great internal variability (given by the presence of different geni) and the marked differentiation towards the outside for the amount of heritage, contribute to make unique the overall 15.000 strains collection inherited by the Foundation.

For this reason, the Foundation Istituto Insubrico di Ricerca per laVita, continuing the long research tradition started in Gerenzano in the 80’s with the Lepetit Group, goes on searching for new actinomycetes, using innovative techniques. The Foundation has an in-progress project for the further development of proper strains’ variety on one hand, and for the characterization of new molecules for biotechnological and pharmaceutical usage on the other hand.

ABL – AntiBiotic Literature database

ABL database is an in-house built database running on ORACLE DBMS, concerning natural products obtained by fermentation, and specifically designed for the early characterization of known compounds (dereplication). It is a Foundation’ scientific tool, set up and kept up to date in 20 years activities, from Lepetit in the 80’s till Vicuron-Pfizer in 2006.
It represents a powerful tool for chemists involved in the isolation of bioactive natural products within screening programs for pharmaceutical industries. All data reported in ABL come from the literature (patents and scientific journals).
ABL database has been steadily updated till 2006 and contains physicochemical and biological data of over 34.000 natural compounds, covering antibacterial, antifungal, antitumor, antiviral and immunological activities, produced by:

  • Actinomycetales (57%)
  • Fungi (30%)
  • Bacteria (13%)

The main data provided for each compound include, when reported in literature, the following characteristics: Name/ synonyms, company, producing microorganism (with strain collection numbers), molecular weight, molecular formula, UV-spectrum (maxima and shoulders at different pH), picture of molecular structure and UV-spectra, chemical class, solubility, biological activity (in vitro and in vivo), mechanism of action.
Complex queries can be carried out on most of the fields of the ABL database using a broad range of selection criteria and the retrieved compounds can be printed on a variety of customized reports sorted by different fields.
ABL database can be used also for statistic purposes and for monitoring the trend of discovery over the last 60 years.