Fimbrion Therapeutics, Inc., a start-up biotechnology company focused on developing antibiotic-sparing drugs, has entered into collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a science-led global healthcare company, to develop a small molecule drug for the treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
The agreement creates a joint project between Fimbrion and the Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) team at GSK. The project is focused on the preclinical development of a class of mannose-containing small molecule compounds called mannosides. Mannosides may be able to treat and prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) without inducing antibiotic resistance. Fimbrion founders Dr. Scott Hultgren, a microbiologist and expert in UTIs, and Dr. James Janetka, a medicinal chemist, combined efforts in 2009 to rationally design new classes of orally-bioavailable mannosides.
Options for treating bacterial infections, especially those caused by Gram-negative bacteria, are becoming increasingly limited due to the exponential increase in antibiotic resistance. Urinary tract infections are the third leading indication for antibiotic therapy and where multidrug-resistant bacteria are becoming increasingly common.
Mannosides represent a new way of treating bacterial infections, by simply preventing the bacteria from being able to stick to the walls of the bladder thus allowing the body to naturally eliminate the infection.
“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,” said Dr. Hultgren, President of Fimbrion Therapeutics.
“We are truly delighted to enter this collaboration to combine the disease expertise and mannoside discovery in Fimbrion with the drug discovery and development expertise of GSK for the development of a first-in-class therapeutic for the treatment of urinary tract infections,” said Carolyn Buser-Doepner, Global Head of Discovery Partnerships with Academia. “Also exciting is that this is our group’s first collaboration with a start-up biotechnology company.”
Fimbrion’s initial focus is the development and commercialization of an orally active drug to prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). Fimbrion will continue to further develop its platform technology and pipeline with additional narrow-spectrum antimicrobial strategies to combat UTIs and other bacterial infections that can overcome existing mechanisms of resistance and minimize the emergence of new ones. These novel narrow-spectrum antimicrobial strategies being developed by Fimbrion could be effective novel therapies for multiple bacterial infections, while being minimally disruptive to the non-pathogenic, resident beneficial microbiota.
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Filed Under: Drug Discovery