US-based biotechnology company Fimbrion Therapeutics has partnered with UK’s healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to develop a small molecule drug for the treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs).

The latest agreement creates a joint project between Fimbrion and GSK’s Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) team.

The project will focus on the preclinical development of a class of mannose-containing small molecule compounds, known as mannosides. 

These compounds can treat and prevent UTIs without inducing antibiotic resistance.

"We are excited for this strategic relationship and partnership with GSK enabling the development of our first drug candidate."

Mannosides prevent the bacteria from being able to stick to the walls of the bladder and allow the body to naturally eliminate the infection.

This way the compounds represent a new way of treating bacterial infections.

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Fimbrion Therapeutics president Dr Hultgren said: "We are excited for this strategic relationship and partnership with GSK enabling the development of our first drug candidate.

“This and other types of antibiotic-sparing therapeutics will be essential to prevent and treat increasingly prevalent infectious disease syndromes caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens."

As part of the collaboration, Fimbrion will initially focus on the development and commercialisation of an orally active drug to prevent and treat UTIs.

The company will further introduce additional narrow-spectrum antimicrobial strategies to develop its platform technology and pipeline and combat UTIs and other bacterial infections.

These new narrow-spectrum antimicrobial strategies could be effective for multiple bacterial infections and will be minimally disruptive to the non-pathogenic, resident beneficial microbiota.