A targeted and AI-driven approach to the discovery of new anthelmintic drugs

Project Details

Status: Completed
Investment: $284,000
Commodity: Beef Cattle
Organization: University of Calgary
Investigator: James Wasmuth

Pressures on the world’s food supplies are growing in the face of climate change and a human population that will exceed 9 billion by 2050.

Why is this research important for Alberta ag?

Pressures on the world's food supplies are growing in the face of climate change and a human population that will exceed 9 billion by 2050. Dietary protein from meat products will need to increase 70%, creating new markets for Albertan and Canadian cattle products and expertise. Worldwide, parasitic nematodes are one of the greatest production limiting factors. These parasites are ubiquitous in Canadian cattle, costing the North American industry $2B each year, which is why it's so concerning that parasites are emerging which are resistant to current treatments.

This project will test five candidate drug targets and the most promising compounds will be prioritized for development into drugs to treat cattle and sheet in Alberta and worldwide.

What benefits can Alberta producers expect from this research?

The research aims to discover the next generation of anthelmintic drugs to treat cattle and sheep, which are urgently needed due to the emergence of nematode parasites which are resistance to all available treatments.

Research outcomes will benefit producers by introducing new treatment options against parasites, facilitating job creation through ag tech jobs, creating partnerships and opportunities with major animal health pharmaceutical companies, and demonstrating that Alberta is a global leader in livestock infectious disease research.

How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?

Research findings will be shared with livestock producers, the animal health pharmaceutical industry, the research community, and the general public. Communication with these four groups will largely overlap in the form of articles in the trade press, presentations at key industry conferences, publication in peer-reviewed journals, and informative public engagement events.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

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