NEWS | BEAM Alliance


BioVersys Awarded Non-Dilutive Funding From CF AMR Syndicate Collaborative Discovery Programme

BASEL, Switzerland, June 04, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

  • CF AMR Syndicate awarded BioVersys up to £ 500,000 to support project addressing resistant non-tubercular mycobacteria (NTM) lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis
  • LifeArc, Medicines Discovery Catapult and Cystic Fibrosis Trust to provide BioVersys with complementary disease specific support
  • BioVersys’ NTM program and candidates are derived from the company’s proprietary Ansamycin Chemistry platform and broadens our clinical and pre-clinical AMR pipeline

BioVersys AG, a multi-asset, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on research and development of novel antibacterial products for serious life-threatening infections caused by multi-drug resistant (“MDR”) bacteria, announced today that it has received a non-dilutive award from the CF AMR Syndicate of up to £ 500,000, via a LifeArc funded Collaborative Discovery Programme (CDP) award, to support the development of novel small molecules targeting difficult to treat non-tubercular mycobacteria lung disease (NTM-LD) in people with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major global health threat with the currently available therapeutics becoming more and more obsolete due to AMR.1 This is of greatest concern when addressing NTM-LD, as in chronic treatments (12-24 months) resistance can often develop. Due to the lack of effective treatment options, current cure rates for NTM-LD are as low as 30-50%.2 Particularly vulnerable to NTM-LD are people who suffer from structural airway disease such as cystic fibrosis (CF) or bronchiectasis.

CF affects over 162,000 people globally.3 While advances in drug treatment have transformed the experience of many people with the condition, there continues to be an urgent need to identify new therapies. The build-up of thick sticky mucus in the lungs of people living with CF predisposes them to infections which can be difficult to clear. The development of frequent and persistent infections leads to a progressive decline in lung function. Treatment failure due to the development of resistance is frequently seen in people living with CF, and the consequences can be devastating. The discovery and development of new antimicrobials to treat infections associated with CF is an urgent unmet need.

BioVersys’ NTM program is derived from the company’s proprietary Ansamycin Chemistry platform. The BioVersys’ research team is developing a novel and highly potent broad-spectrum anti-NTM ansamycin, suitable for oral or inhalation therapy and devoid of cross-resistance with other therapeutic classes. Moreover, since NTM-LD patients are often on multiple drug therapy, it is of paramount importance that the company’s candidate molecule to be selected for development does not show any significant potential for drug-drug interactions.

Dr. Sergio Lociuro, Chief Scientific Officer of BioVersys: “We are absolutely delighted not only to have been awarded this funding from CF AMR Syndicate, but also to have them as new collaboration partners. Collaborating with valuable and experienced partners in the field is the most efficient and effective way to successfully pursue research. The collaboration with the CF AMR Syndicate (LifeArc, Medicines Discovery Catapult and Cystic Fibrosis Trust) will further expand BioVersys’ network and provide relevant information for the development of products that are targeted to have a positive impact in the treatment of pulmonary diseases caused by NTMs and hence on patients’ lives.”

Catherine Kettleborough, LifeArc’s Chronic Respiratory Infection Translational Challenge Lead: “The Collaborative Discovery Programme (CDP) is part of LifeArc’s Chronic Respiratory Infection Translational Challenge which is a programme that aims to accelerate scientific innovation for people living with CF and bronchiectasis. Working with MDC and Cystic Fibrosis Trust, this programme aims to deliver new therapies to end the vicious cycle of infection, inflammation and permanent lung damage for people living with CF. We are delighted to welcome BioVersys to the programme, as one of the six supported projects. We are pleased to support an advanced Discovery project that is well positioned to address the needs of the CF community.”

Dr Paula Sommer, Head of Research at Cystic Fibrosis Trust: “People living with CF are particularly vulnerable to antimicrobial resistance. New antimicrobials that target CF-associated lung infections are urgently needed. We are delighted that the programme, developed with input from the CF community, has commenced.”

Dr Beverley Isherwood, Strategy Leader, Infectious Diseases at Medicines Discovery Catapult: “The CF AMR Syndicate is a unique initiative that brings people with CF together with leading experts from across the industry, academia and clinical care to accelerate the translation of CF antimicrobials to the clinic. With this programme, we aim to extend the impact of this patient-centred collective approach to contribute new promising antimicrobials for people who need them.”

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