ALLSCHWIL, Switzerland, Oct. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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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Polyphor is a research-driven clinical-stage, Swiss biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering and developing best-in-class molecules in oncology and antimicrobial resistance leveraging the company’s leading macrocyclic peptide technology platform. Polyphor is advancing balixafortide (POL6326) in a Phase III trial in combination with eribulin in patients with advanced breast cancer and exploring its potential in other cancer indications. In addition, it has discovered and is developing the Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotics (OMPTA). OMPTA are potentially the first new class of antibiotics in clinical development in the last 50 years against Gram-negative bacteria. The company’s lead OMPTA program is an inhaled formulation of murepavadin for the treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in patients with cystic fibrosis. Polyphor is based in Allschwil near Basel and is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX: POLN). For more information, please visit www.polyphor.com.
Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) is a global non-profit partnership dedicated to accelerating early development antibacterial R&D to address the rising global threat of drug-resistant bacteria. CARB-X is led by Boston University and funding is provided by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Wellcome Trust, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with in-kind support from US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). CARB-X is investing up to $480 million from 2016-2022 to support innovative antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines and other prevention approaches, and rapid diagnostics. CARB-X supports the world’s largest and most innovative pipeline of preclinical products against drug-resistant infections. CARB-X is headquartered at Boston University School of Law. carb-x.org/. Follow us on Twitter @CARB_X.
This press release contains forward-looking statements which are based on current assumptions and forecasts of the Polyphor management. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors could lead to material differences between the forward-looking statements made here and the actual development, in particular Polyphor’s results, financial situation, and performance. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only of the date of this communication. Polyphor disclaims any intention or obligation to update and revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
This research is supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number IDSEP160030 from ASPR/BARDA and by awards from Wellcome Trust and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, or other CARB-X funders.