Marilyn Bruno
Women enabling science to reach the people who need it

Marilyn Bruno

Marilyn Bruno

Aequor, Inc.

JLABS @ San Diego

What is the problem you're trying to solve?

Aequor’s founder discovered novel molecules in the ocean that combat bacteria and fungi in a new way: they completely remove biofilm and prevent biofilm formation, which halts the ability of bacteria and fungi to attach to inert, nano and organic surfaces, colonize, contaminate and/or infect.

How is what you're doing different than other attempts to solve this problem?

Unlike antimicrobials and antibiotics, which can only kill free-floating bacteria and cannot remove pre-formed biofilm at doses that are not lethal to humans and trigger a resistance response in the target, Aequor has now synthesized over 30 molecules that are non-toxic, and highly effective without triggering a resistance response. Each molecule is different (solubility, PH ranges, some are bacteriostatic, some are bactericidal), and can be used alone, in combination with each other, and in combination with existing biocides/antibiotics at lower concentrations.

Why are you passionate about what you're working on?

The problem of biofilm costs the healthcare industry over $350 billion annually, as the CDC has associated biofilm with 90% of all hospital-acquired infections, 80% of all chronic wound infections, and avoidable diseases still considered incurable (e.g. cystic fibrosis, endocarditis). It is no coincidence that every bacterium on the CDC lists of pandemic, urgent, and bioterrorist threats is a biofilm-former, as is every antimicrobial-resistant strain, which have already caused over 700,000 deaths in 2016.

What achievement are you most proud of?

Aequor discovered Nature’s remedy for bacterial and fungal biofilm and successfully synthesized the primary natural chemical -- which several of the most advanced chemical and pharma companies were unable to do. Aequor’s large and versatile library small molecules are effective, eco-friendly, and can save time, manpower, and money -- and lives.