EDINBURGH, Scotland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A significant discovery in the development of next-generation antibiotics has been made by Scottish biotechnology company Aquapharm.
The firm has discovered a new antibiotic compound thought to be effective against a broad spectrum of Multi-Drug Resistant bacteria including Multi-Drug Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MDRSA) and Multi-Drug resistant Streptococcus Pneumoniae (MDRSP), Clostridium Difficile and Enteroccocus Faecalis which are common causes of death in patients in hospital care units.
The compound, 'AQP-182', is one of a number of druggable new molecules identified by Aquapharm from its collection of more than 10,000 marine micro-organisms.
Its scientists recently screened a fraction of the collection to look for micro-organisms which may have anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties – and discovered 16 compounds with potent pharmacological potential.
Five new chemical entities, including AQP-182, are now in preclinical development at Aquapharm for the treatment of bacterial infections resistant to existing therapies.
Dr. Tim Morley, Aquapharm’s Chief Scientific Officer, said: “We are very pleased with the output of our drug discovery platform based on marine microorganisms. From an initial screening of a small portion of our natural product library we have identified 16 novel compounds belonging to totally novel and diverse chemical classes. The most advanced compound AQP-182 has a promising pharmacological and pharmacokinetic profile which is extremely relevant for the treatment of hard to treat resistant bacterial infections”.
Initial in vivo studies of AQP-182 suggest greater potency than the current 'best-in-class' drug used against MDRSA, and Aquapharm's experts believe it could have the potential for once-a-day dosing.
A Phase I clinical trial is expected in the second half of 2013.
Professor Simon Best, CEO of Aquapharm, said the data demonstrated the potential of marine natural products as a rich source of pharmaceutical chemistry.
He said: "Not only have natural products been the source of, or the inspiration for, over 75 per cent of the new small-molecule chemical entities introduced as pharmaceuticals over the past 50 years - they remain a fundamental source of new chemical diversity and an integral component of modern science's pharmaceutical armoury."
DRUG RESISTANT GRAM POSITIVE INFECTIONS: SCALE & IMPACT
Antibiotic resistance is a huge concern with the UK Department of Health describing it as one of the most significant threats to patient safety in Europe. With few antibiotics in the development pipeline and a growing resistance to bacteria it is becoming increasingly more challenging to tackle. The UK is signed up to the World Health Organisation European Strategic Action Plan on Antibiotic Resistance. This action plan encourages information sharing and development of effective interventions to prevent and slow the development of multi-drug resistance bacteria. Find out more at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2012/02/antibiotic-resistance-key-facts
A joint working group of the European Centre for Disease Control and the European Medicines Agency was established in 2008 to document the gap between infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria in the EU and the development of new antibiotics to treat them. For more on the report and its findings visit: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_130267
About Aquapharm Biodiscovery Ltd.
Aquapharm is a leading marine biotechnology company pioneering the discovery, isolation and development of novel, marine-derived bioactives for application in a wide range of commercial sectors, including pharmaceuticals, functional ingredients and industrial biotechnology. The company is based at the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology in Oban, and Heriot-Watt University Research Park, Edinburgh
Aquapharm has built a substantial and specialised collection of marine bacteria and fungi from a variety of diverse habitats. Through the application of its proprietary technologies to this collection, the company has been able to stimulate the production of novel, biologically active products with broad chemical diversity. To accelerate its discovery efforts, Aquapharm is currently preparing one of the world’s largest marine-derived compound libraries.
Aquapharm’s technologies and intellectual property are also applicable to other types of micro-organism such as those that populate the human gut.
For more information, please see www.aquapharm.co.uk