AMR Centre signs deal in fight against drug resistance

The increasing role Alderley Park is playing as a centre of excellence in the field of antimicrobial resistance has been highlighted with a trans-Atlantic deal involving the AMR Centre which is based at the Park and a leader in the UK’s response to the global threat crisis.

It has signed a co-development deal with Microbiotix Inc, a Massachusetts-based clinical-stage drug development company. The two organisations will combine resources and leverage their antimicrobial R&D expertise to accelerate the development of Microbiotix's T3SS (type III secretion system) inhibitor project. This program has been awarded up to $3.2 million, based on successful progression through milestones, from CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Accelerator) in March 2017.

Under the new agreement, the AMR Centre will provide up to $1.1m of technical support including over $600,000 of project funding, alongside $1.6m of initial CARB-X funding, to identify a drug candidate to take into clinical trials.

Dr Chris Doherty, Managing Director of Alderley Park said, “We are delighted for the team at the AMR Centre and wish all parties involved in this project every success. There is a wealth of information about the threat to public health caused by the supply of effective antibiotics running out. The O’Neill Report, a major UK Government investigation, has highlighted the fact new ways need to be found to fund the research in an area known to have a problematic business model. The AMR Centre is part of that response. It’s very pleasing to see deals and international collaboration starting to happen from our site. We expect to see more deals.”

Dr Pete Jackson, Executive Director, the AMR Centre, said. “T3SS inhibitors represent an exciting early stage program. The novel mode of action addresses the effects of the infection without directly killing the organism. In that way the solution does not encourage the bug to evolve resistance.”

“As a CARB-X alliance partner we are pleased to be inputting our resources alongside those of CARB-X and Microbiotix, into this exciting trans-Atlantic program.  This is very much a co-development and as such our UK based scientists are actively working on what candidates to take forward. We believe that this innovative project, which targets a WHO Priority 1 and ESKAPE pathogen, has the potential to reduce the threat of antimicrobial resistance.”

Terry Bowlin, PhD, President and CEO of Microbiotixm said: “This agreement with the AMR Centre will significantly accelerate our ability to deliver a pre-clinical candidate. We believe our T3SS inhibitors have great potential to help critically ill patients infected with drug resistant P. aeruginosa. Almost one-third of clinical isolates from these patients are resistant to three or more antibiotics, leading to treatment failures and increased mortality. Our novel inhibitors of the type III secretion system (T3SS) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, have been shown to reverse the pathogen’s disruption of the host innate immune response to infection and are not subject to efflux or existing antibiotic resistance mechanisms.”

Alderley Park is hosting a major European AMR conference, BioInfect, on 2 November. The one day conference will examine the critical issues relating to the development of new anti-infectives and the endemic problem of resistance. For further information click here.

Katie Droogan