Stevenage, UK – 12 February 2018 – Funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation agency, is enabling UK anti-infectives company Auspherix to expand into new therapeutic indications and test the activity of its new class of organogold antibacterial compounds against bacteria that cause respiratory infections including life-threatening lung infections such as hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia (HABP). As the second most common hospital acquired infection, HABP is the primary cause of death in intensive care units with a mortality rate of ~30%.
“With the global spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the fact that no new class of antibiotic has been discovered in over 30 years, patients with drug-resistant lung infections are particularly vulnerable,” said Dr Neil Miller, CEO of Auspherix.
The Company is already progressing its lead programme, focused on the treatment of complicated urinary tract infection, through pre-clinical studies.
Auspherix’s organogold compounds are a novel class of antibiotic and differentiated from current antibiotics by both their chemical structure and distinct antibacterial profile. They have been shown to have rapid bactericidal (killing rather than growth inhibition) effects against Gram-negative bacteria and preliminary data show a low propensity for the emergence of resistance. Importantly, they possess activity against key multi-drug resistant (MDR) clinical isolates relevant to HABP.
“Innovate UK provides an essential source of funding for the UK’s life sciences industry. The funding is highly competitive. Our successful grant is an endorsement of the potential utility of our new class of organogold antibacterials to treat antibiotic resistant life-threatening respiratory infections and the need to expand the repertoire of antibiotic treatment options,” added Dr Miller.
The Investment Accelerator Pilot grant has provided £150,000 to explore the potential utility of Auspherix’s proprietary organogold compounds in pre-clinical models of bacterial respiratory infections over six months, which began in January 2018. The project is part funded by Touchstone Innovations, a part of IP Group plc.
About Auspherix Ltd
Auspherix is an anti-infectives company engaged in the discovery and development of a new class of organogold-based antibiotics for serious and difficult to treat, or potentially life threatening infections.
Its new class of antibiotics demonstrate potent and broad-spectrum activity against Gram-negative bacteria including many multi-drug resistant (MDR) strains where there is a global rising unmet medical need and large market potential.
The Company is utilising its proprietary organogold chemistry platform to build a pipeline of novel antibacterials with an initial focus on treating complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI).
As a private company, Auspherix is backed by experienced investors including the Australian Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) and UK-based Touchstone Innovations, a part IP Group plc (AIM IPO). The Company is located at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst facility, UK a world-leading hub for open innovation and centre for fast growing biotech, pharma and medtech businesses.
About Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy.
For further information visit www.innovateuk.gov.uk.
Issued for and on behalf of Auspherix Ltd by Instinctif Partners.
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Sue CharlesManaging Partner