Allschwil, Switzerland, October 14, 2020
Polyphor AG (SIX: POLN), announced today that it has received a new and second non-dilutive funding award from CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator), a global partnership led by Boston University dedicated to supporting the development of antibacterial products, to diagnose, prevent and treat drug-resistant infections. This award will support the development of the “thanatin derivatives program” belonging to Polyphor’s novel Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotic (OMPTA) class of antibiotics to potentially treat life-threatening infections caused by difficult-to-treat Gram-negative bacteria.
CARB-X will provide Polyphor with initial funding of up to USD 2.62 million to complete the hit-to-lead stage and up to USD 15.82 million if certain project milestones are met. This funding is the second major support for Polyphor’s antibiotics program and follows a previous grant in 2019.
“CARB-X fosters the best science and most promising early development R&D-projects in the world. This award provides further support to our research efforts in progressing a new class of antibiotics to combat antimicrobial resistance, one of the greatest global challenges for healthcare,” said Gokhan Batur, Chief Executive Officer of Polyphor. “This second award is a strong validation of our innovative antibiotic platform and an important milestone in the implementation of our renewed strategy in this field presented earlier this year, and we would like to thank CARB-X for their ongoing trust and support.”
The thanatin-derivative antibiotics discovered by Polyphor and the University of Zurich are part of Polyphor’s new Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotic (OMPTA) class of antibiotics and target the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) transport protein A (LptA), a novel essential target in the LPS transport mechanism of Gram-negative bacteria. Most importantly, these new types of antibiotics show potent and specific antimicrobial activity against Enterobacteriaceae, including extremely drug resistant strains, which are among the WHO priority-1 pathogens.
“Serious infections are a global health threat, due in part to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria for which we do not have therapies,” said Erin Duffy, R&D Chief of CARB-X. “Polyphor’s project enriches the pool of novel approaches to deliver a therapeutic that can treat infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens for which we have few options. It is in the early stages of development, and if successful and approved, it could potentially change the way these life-threatening infections are treated and save lives.”
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