French biopharmaceutical company Antabio has secured a non-dilutive funding to accelerate the development of a new small molecule drug to treat chronic Pseudomonas infections in cystic fibrosis patients.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that causes long-term infections and progressive lung damage.
The most common infection in adult patients with cystic fibrosis is caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA), which develops as biofilm clusters that are resistant to immune clearance and conventional antibiotics.
Antabio CSO Martin Everett said: “This award enables Antabio to develop a new paradigm in the treatment of infectious disease, i.e. that of targeting the bacterium’s ability to cause disease and evade attack by the immune system and antibiotics.
“Opening up alternative ways to fight disease is particularly important given the increases in multidrug resistant pathogens and the shortage of new antibiotics.”
The funding has been awarded by Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X).
CARB-X is a public-private partnership that focuses on antibacterial research and development (R&D).
CARB-X executive director Kevin Outterson said: “Drug-resistant infections are complex and developing new antibiotics are challenging, timely and costly.
“But restoring the R&D pipeline is vital to address the seriously increasing threat of superbugs, which have become resistant to existing drugs.”
Antabio will use the $8.9m funding to boost the development of its new treatment up to the completion of Phase I clinical trials.
Supported by CARB-X, Antabio’s Pseudomonas Elastase Inhibitors (PEI) programme focuses on developing inhibitors of the PA LasB elastase virulence factor that can target the bacterium’s ability to evade the immune system and cause the disease.