Sussex Research Laboratories Inc. announced today that Professor Christopher N. Boddy of the University of Ottawa has received an NSERC Engage grant for a project entitled Development of a process for the manufacture of pseudaminic acid.
Pseudaminic acid, a sialic acid (neuraminic acid) analogue, represents a promising new class of bacterial sugars with relevance in medicine and biology. Pseudaminic acid containing glycoconjugates are thought to influence pathogenesis through bacterial adhesion, invasion, and immune evasion, and are associated with bacterial cell surface structures such as lipopolysaccharide, capsular polysaccharide, pili and flagella. However, there is no cost-effective method available for the production of this rare sugar.
According to Brady Clark, President & CEO of Sussex Research, “As industrial partner on the project, Sussex Research is very pleased to support Professor Boddy and his research team. The Boddy laboratory are experts in metabolic engineering and have a track record of developing manufacturing processes at the research level, including the development of a commercial fermentation-based process for the production of sialic acid. This collaboration will extend the ability of Sussex Research to make pseudaminic acid available in larger quantities and at reasonable cost to researchers worldwide.”
Development of a fermentation-based process for the manufacture of pseudaminic acid requires metabolic engineering to optimize the production strain and development of an efficient low cost isolation procedure. The Boddy group has been and will continue to work in collaboration with Ian Schoenhofen of the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, who previously developed the in vitro enzymatic methodology for pseudaminic acid production at milligram scales.