Next Generation Immunosuppressants: Brasilicardin synthesized by Nocardia spp.
Acronym: NeBrasCa

Project coordinator
- Harald Gross - Pharmaceutical Institute of the University of Tuebingen - Germany

Project leaders
- Wolfgang Wohlleben - IMIT of the University of Tuebingen - Germany
- Carmen Mendez - Universidad de Oviedo - Spain
- Jolanta Zakrzewska-Czerwinska - University of Warsaw - Poland
- Francisco Moris - EntreChem SL - Spain

NeBrasCa stands for Next generation immunosuppressive drugs: Brasilicardin from kocardia. Brasilicardin is a terpenoid secondary metabolite which is known to have an immunosuppressive activity and is produced by the soil bacterium Nocardia terpenica. The potency of this natural product is higher than today’s standard drugs tacrolimus and cyclosporin, and brasilicardin has the advantage of being less toxic, i.e. shows less side effects. It targets the amino acid transport system L and exhibits therefore a completely different mode of action than the established drugs. Taken together, brasilicardin based compounds represent in future a valueable drug option that can expand and complement todays immunosuppressant therapy. The NeBrasCa project aims at the biotechnological development of a brasilicardin analogs as new immunosuppressant drugs. 

Currently, the development is halted due to supply issues. The producer strain shows only a low production titer and is furthermore categorized as biosafety level 2 organism. Both facts make the production of the original brasilicardin by classic fermentation expensive and elaborate. In addition, despite considerable efforts, it is neither practical nor reasonable to generate the molecule by total synthesis.

NeBrasCa wants to overcome this bottleneck with a biotechnological approach in order to produce an optimized brasilicardin congener, which can be developed to the point of regulatory preclinical trials.