Tag Archives: Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobials Working Group (AWG) Announced the Addition of ACURX Pharmaceuticals To Its Coalition Of Companies With the Mission To Combat Drug Resistant Infections

The Antimicrobials Working Group (AWG) announced August 5, 2021 the addition of Acurx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to its coalition of companies with the mission to combat drug resistant infections and spur life-saving innovations. This new addition brings AWG’s membership to 13 antimicrobial drug companies.

Acurx is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of antibiotics for infections caused by bacteria listed as priority pathogens by the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Their lead product candidate, ibezapolstat, is a first-in-class of a new class of DNA pol IIIC inhibitors which is in Phase 2 clinical development to treat C. difficile Infection (CDI). Ibezapolstat is the first antibiotic candidate intended to work by blocking the DNA Pol IIIC enzyme, the enzyme necessary for replication of the DNA of the C. difficile bacterial cell.

“We are delighted to have Acurx join AWG and add their voice to our mission to improve the antimicrobial drug and device environment to provide doctors and patients with innovative treatment options for difficult to treat infectious diseases,” said Ted Schroeder, Chief Executive Officer of Nabriva Therapeutics and Chairman of AWG. “Through the collective power of our membership, AWG will continue to engage with key legislators and stakeholders to drive public policy that will stabilize the fragile antimicrobial ecosystem, enable appropriate patient access to novel products, and spur much-needed research and development to help combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. We look forward to working with Acurx to accomplish these goals.”

Bob DeLuccia, Executive Chairman of Acurx, stated: “Antibiotic-resistant Gram-positive infections are substantial societal, public health, and economic burdens worldwide. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) alone accounts for more than half of the infections in US-hospitalized patients, more than any other category of pathogens, including the most problematic serious Gram-negative infections combined. He further stated: “Acurx is pleased to join the AWG and support its efforts to improve the regulatory, investment and commercial environment for successful antimicrobial drug development and commercialization, thereby ensuring preparedness for the next pandemic, antimicrobial resistance, for the benefit of patients worldwide.”

All pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies developing new antimicrobial therapeutics and diagnostic devices are eligible for consideration of membership in AWG. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member of AWG, please contact us here.

About Acurx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Acurx Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new antibiotics for difficult to treat infections. The Company’s approach is to develop antibiotic candidates that target the DNA polymerase IIIC enzyme. Its R&D pipeline includes antibiotic product candidates that target Gram-positive bacteria, including Clostridioides difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (PRSP).

For more information, please visit: www.acurxpharma.com.

About The Antimicrobials Working Group

AWG was founded in 2012 with the vision of utilizing collective power to improve the regulatory, investment, and commercial environment for emerging infectious disease companies. Today, AWG is comprised of thirteen antimicrobials companies: Acurx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACXP), Cidara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CDTX), , Crestone, Inc., Entasis Therapeutics Inc., Iterum Therapeutics Ltd. (NASDAQ: ITRM), Melinta Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: MLNT), Nabriva Therapeutics US Inc. (NASDAQ: NBRV), Paratek Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: PRTK), Qpex Biopharma, Inc., SCYNEXIS Inc. (NASDAQ: SCYX), Summit Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: SMMT) (AIM: SUMM), UTILITY therapeutics Ltd., and Venatorx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

For more information, visit: www.antimicrobialsworkinggroup.org

About The Conafay Group

The Conafay Group, led by Stephen R. Conafay, Principal, is a life-sciences government relations firm based in Washington D.C. that serves as Washington counsel and coalition manager for AWG.

For more information, visit: www.conafaygroup.com

 

Researchers Uncover How Bacteria is Able to Shut Its Doors to Antibiotics

Drug-resistant infections have been a growing concern across the medical and pharmaceutical industries. In the United States alone, approximately 23,000 people die each year from infections that are resistant to antibiotics. Now, researchers may know why this happens.
New findings from researchers at Imperial College London show that these bacterial infections are able to reject antibiotics by “closing tiny doors in their cell walls.”

By understanding how these cells are able to shut the doors, the researchers said this could provide new understandings for drugmakers to develop treatments that will “pick the locks” of the closed doors. The result of the research was published today in Nature Communications In the study, the Imperial College researchers, who are focused on antibiotic resistance, looked at the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae, which causes infections in the lungs, blood and wounds of people in hospitals. Patients that have compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to this bacterium. The researchers said K. pneumoniae is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, particularly a family of drugs called Carbapenems, which are used in hospitals when others have failed or are ineffective. Because of this resistance to the powerful antibiotics, the World Health Organization listed Carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae as a critical problem.


The researchers found that K. pneumoniae is able to resist Carbapenems by shutting down it surface pores, which is how the antibiotics typically attack the bacteria. The team compared the structures of K. pneumoniae bacteria that were resistant to Carbapenems to those that weren’t and found the resistant bacteria had modified or absent versions of a protein that creates pores in the cell wall. Resistant bacteria have much smaller pores, blocking the drug from entering, the researchers said in a statement.   Joshua Wong, from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial and first author of the study, said with the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bugs like K. pneumoniae, it’s important to understand how it happened in order to provide “vital insights that could allow new strategies and drugs to be designed.”

There is some good news though from this finding. The researchers said that the bacteria grow at a much slower rate when its doors are closed due to its inability to absorb nutrients while being attacked by the antibiotics.

Those closed doors will present a challenge to drug developers. Gad Frankel, head of the study team, said the ability of the bacteria to shut its doors to the antibiotics will also provide a mechanism to counteract many other drugs. He said that ability will be difficult to get around.
“However, we hope that it will be possible to design drugs that can pick the lock of the door, and our data provide information to help scientists and pharmaceutical companies make these new agents a reality,” Frankel said in a statement.

Over the past few years, there have been multiple stories about the rise of drug-resistant pathogens. Recently, a dangerous fungal infection known as  Candida auris reared its head in a New York hospital. The facility had to tear out part of the room a patient was housed in due to the spread of the fungal infection, which can be fatal. With growing concerns about the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, multiple companies are developing new forms of antimicrobials to take on serious health concerns, such as carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, Clostridium difficile, better known as C. diff, or Staphylococcus infections

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Breakout Labs Has Invested in SciBac, a Company Targeting the Growing Problem of Antibiotic Resistance

It’s not surprising that Breakout Labs, the Thiel Foundation‘s seed-stage fund that aims to propel radical science to improve human health, has invested in SciBac, a company targeting the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. Among health risks that threaten mankind, the one that may prove most deadly is the rise of superbugs — drug-resistant bacteria that can make simple surgeries and medical treatments like chemotherapy impossible.

Why Peter Thiel is backing a tiny start-up waging war against the global superbug crisis

  • 700,000 people worldwide die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections, and numbers are increasing.
  • Antimicrobial resistance is projected to kill more people than cancer by 2050, according to the World Health Organization.
  • Many big pharmaceutical companies are exiting the antibiotic drug development field due to low margins.
  • Start-ups like SciBac, which made the 2018 CNBC Upstart 100 list, are developing alternative solutions.

Over the years ever more powerful strains have spread around the world. It’s a crisis that has even garnered the attention of world leaders at the United Nations. That’s because the urgency is clear: 700,000 people die each year worldwide from antibiotic-resistant infections, and that number is increasing by the day. In the United States alone at least 2 million people become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 23,000 die each year as a result of those infections.

The future trend is alarming. According to the World Health Organization, Hemai Parthasarathyis projected to kill more people than cancer by 2050, which would reduce global economic output by between 2 percent and 3.5 percent — a staggering $100 trillion cut in GDP globally — and severely cripple modern medical and surgical advances.

A $40 billion superbug market Big Pharma is neglecting

It’s no wonder many scientists call antimicrobial resistance “a slow-motion tsunami.” Yet lack of drug development and discovery by Big Pharma has exacerbated the problem. “Within the last two years, five large pharmaceutical and many biotech companies have exited the field due to the scientific, regulatory and economic challenges posed by antibiotic discovery and development,” said Thomas Cueni, chairman of the AMR Industry Alliance, a coalition of 100 companies and pharmaceutical associations set up to curb antimicrobial resistance. Among the pharmaceutical giants to exit this research field: Novartis, AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Allergan.

The void has spurred many nimble biotech start-ups to look for solutions in this new $40 billion superbug market. One is SciBac, a biotherapeutics company named to the 2018 CNBC Upstart 100 list. The Silicon Valley start-up shifts the paradigm on how to tackle superbugs. It is developing a microbe pill to boost the body’s microbiome in the gut, lungs and skin to kill bacteria that cause antibiotic-resistant disease. Its first product treats and prevents Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), commonly known as deadly diarrhea and our nation’s top antibiotic-resistant threat. It is also working on developing a drug to treat and prevent chronic Pseudomonas infections in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.

“Our patented platform technology has applications to treat other infections,” said SciBac CEO Jeanette Mucha. “It allows us to mate different species of microbes into a single hybrid that can target specific diseases through multiple modes of action that kill the bacteria and toxins in the body. At the same time, the technology bolsters the microbiome for fast recovery.”

SciBac CEO, Jeanette Mucha is on a quest to develop an antibiotic alternative.

According to Hemai Parthasarathy, Ph.D., scientific director of the Thiel Foundation’s Breakout Labs, “It’s clear we are running out of an arsenal to attack the superbug crisis, and the world needs new approaches.”

To help SciBac’s team move their technology out of the lab, Breakout has taken a board role to help with business strategy and will help introduce the founders to venture capitalists and potential business partners in the months ahead.

To date, the three-year-old upstart has raised $1.45 million in equity financing and a $3.7 million grant from CARB-X, a nonprofit public-private partnership funded by the U.S. government, Wellcome Trust, the NIH, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.K government, that invests in antibacterial research worldwide. Its goal: to fast-track the development of a pipeline of new antibiotics, vaccines and other products to fight the war on superbugs.

“SciBac is essentially creating a new drug that is an antibiotic alternative,” said Kevin Outterson, executive director of CARB-X. “The microbiome is providing exciting new approaches to the prevention and treatment of life-threatening infections of all kinds. It’s a promising new scientific approach.”

SciBac’s answer to the superbug threat has caught the attention of investors.

As Outterson explains, most of the innovation in this field is coming from tiny pre-clinical trial companies like SciBac. That’s because many Big Pharma companies feel the margins aren’t worth the high R&D costs, which can run into the billions of dollars. “As soon as you make an antibiotic, it is already dying because bacteria are evolving in response to the drug. Eventually, random mutations will make antibiotic resistance come.”

For this reason, drug companies feel antibiotics are undervalued in the marketplace.

To help boost the start-up’s odds of success, CARB-X will provide SciBac with consultants and experts in R&D, toxicity and regulation that can help them navigate how to get their science from the lab to clinical trials for FDA approval. It has set milestones for the company that it must meet to get financing.

Like many entrepreneurs pursuing breakthrough science, Mucha seems energized by her formidable challenge of kickstarting the development of a new drug.

Mucha said she and co-founders Anthony Cann, a chemical engineer, and Derik Twomey, a cell biologist, stumbled on the idea. They had experience working with a species of bacteria known as clostridium while developing a biofuel for Cobalt Technologies. After that company closed shop, Mucha set up a lab in her garage to experiment with probiotics and see if she could induce gene transfer in bacteria. It worked. Then the entrepreneurs moved into an incubator, Molecular Sciences Institute in Milpitas, California, to set up a lab. Ten months later they applied to Breakout Labs for $350,000 of seed financing, which gave them matching funds to help secure the CARB-X grant. Now the company is in the midst of getting bridge financing to fund clinical trials and manufacturing.

“This drug development will take time,” Mucha said. “It won’t be ready for FDA drug approval until 2025. But we’re seeing a lot of investor interest in this alternative technology.”

 

To review article in its entirety please click on the following link to be redirected:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/09/peter-thiel-backs-a-start-up-fighting-the-global-superbug-crisis.html

 

 

 

Taking Aim at Superbugs and A Review Of the Latest CDC Vital Signs Report With Guest Clifford McDonald, MD Of the CDC

Listen In On Tuesday, March 22nd


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C. diff. Spores and More,” Global Broadcasting Network – innovative and educational interactive healthcare talk radio program discusses

“Taking aim at “super-bugs” and the latest CDC Vital Signs Report results”

With Our Guest, Dr. Clifford McDonald, MD, — Senior Advisor for Science and Integrity Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the CDC

Tuesday, March 22nd at the following times

10 a.m. Pacific Time
11 a.m. Mountain Time 
12 p.m. Central Time  
1 p.m. Eastern Time

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sounds the alarm on the danger of modern medicine returning to a time when simple infections were often fatal. As the latest Vital Signs Report shows, much progress has been made in our hospitals and healthcare facilities to protect patients from healthcare-associated infections. But, more work needs to be done, because many of these infections are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria which are difficult, if not impossible to treat. The CDC believes clinicians are key to national progress in preventing infections. They have the power to change the direction of antibiotic resistance each and every time they care for their patients. It requires taking the appropriate steps every time.

We are in a race to slow resistance, and we can’t afford to let the “superbugs” outpace us, especially in healthcare settings.

Dr. McDonald graduated from Northwestern University Medical School, completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Michigan State University, and an Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the University of South Alabama, following which he completed a fellowship in Medical Microbiology at Duke University. Past positions have included Associate Investigator at the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan and Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Louisville. Dr. McDonald is a former officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service and former Chief of the Prevention and Response Branch in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the CDC where he currently serves as Senior Advisor for Science and Integrity in the same division. He is the author or co-author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications with his main interests in the epidemiology/prevention of HAI’s, especially Clostridium difficile infections, and prevention of antimicrobial resistance.

C. diff. Spores and More  Global Broadcasting Network –  producing educational programs dedicated to  C. difficile Infections and more —  brought to you by VoiceAmerica and sponsored by Clorox Healthcare