• Genome Mining for Novel Therapeutics and Commercial Products

Genome Mining for Novel Therapeutics and Commercial Products

As the largest reservoir of biodiversity on the planet, the marine environment offers tremendous opportunity for new discovery. Marine organisms have the capacity to produce unique molecules that do not exist on land, providing a largely untapped trove for discovery of new medicines for human disease and products to improve our lives. Marine-derived products currently contribute to FDA-approved pharmaceuticals, enzymes for biotechnology and industry, and supplements for nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals. However, the lack of a sustainable large-scale supply of marine organisms has been one of the main challenges to realizing the full potential of marine-derived products. The application of genomics has the potential to revolutionize the field of marine biotechnology, providing a sustainable approach to accelerate discovery of new organisms, drug targets, biosynthetic processes, and therapeutic molecules to treat human disease. There are currently 9 FDA-approved marine-derived drugs on the market, with more than 30 compounds in clinical trials. Marine-derived therapeutics show particular promise for treatment of cancer, infectious disease and inflammation, as well as potent, specific and non-addictive treatments for pain.

GMGI is using a genomics approach to mine the vast genetic diversity of marine organisms for discovery of novel compounds and biologicals with applications in medicine, biotechnology and industry. Initial focus is on the diverse microbial communities associated with marine sediments and macro-organisms. Microbes (bacteria, archaea, protists, and unicellular fungi) account for 90% of oceanic biomass and are responsible for much of the biological and chemical diversity, providing a vast repertoire of enzymes and compounds with unique chemical structures.

Gloucester’s proximity to diverse marine environments provides GMGI with a rich supply of unique samples as the source for new discovery. In GMGI’s pilot study, sequencing of DNA isolated from benthic marine sediments collected at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (under permit number SBNMS-2015-001) revealed a wide range of microbial diversity and many novel DNA sequences, demonstrating great potential for new discoveries.

Marine Animal Models for Biomedical Research >>

Our mission is to conduct world-class marine biotechnology research which expands the regional economy.

Gloucester Marine
Genomics Institute

417 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

Gloucester Biotechnology

55 Blackburn Center
Gloucester, MA 01930

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