Identify Novel Molecules that Act Through the same Pathway as Nicotinamide

Principal Investigator Alain Verreault and Martine Raymond

Competitive Advantages

Fungal pathogens such as Candida albicans can spread throughout the body, invade vital organs and result in grave medical complications. These types of infections are particularly frequent in patients whose immune system is weakened. For example, patients treated with cancer chemotherapy are in danger of dying from fungal infections. This is because most cancer chemotherapeutic agents cause collateral damage by killing immune cells that protect the patient
from infections. In addition, patients who need blood cell or organ transplantation are first treated with pharmacological agents that cripple their immune system. This medical procedure is crucial to avoid graft rejection but, unfortunately, the patients with crippled immunity are susceptible to life-threatening fungal infections. We previously reported that a specific form of vitamin B3 kills several different types of fungal pathogens by blocking a protein that is essential for their viability. The purpose of our research is to exploit this novel strategy to fight human fungal infections through the identification of new molecules that are much more potent than vitamin B3.