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Selcia and Cantab Announce Drug Discovery Collaboration

Published: Thursday, September 05, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, September 05, 2013
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Partnership to accelerate Cantab’s programme to develop improved antibiotics for multidrug resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections.

Cantab has recently been awarded a grant of £2.3m from the Biomedical Catalyst Fund to continue its promising programme in this area.

Polymyxins have become an important ‘last resort’ therapy for certain MDR Gram-negative infections, but suffer from complex pharmacokinetics and dose-limiting toxicities which often lead to sub-optimal therapy. Polymyxins are the only effective antibiotic to act specifically on the lipopolysaccharide of Gram-negative bacteria and, given the rise of problem infections with Gram-negative bacteria, it is timely to harness this mechanism of action into improved therapeutic entities.
Selcia will provide medicinal chemistry resource to:

•    Generate a range of polymyxin-based entities to continue the optimisation of  antibacterial activity against MDR strains in vitro
•    Optimise the most promising entities to improve antibacterial activity in vivo
•    Optimise therapeutic index
•    Optimise to give a clinical candidate meeting all aspects of the target product profile

Dr Hans Fliri, CEO of Selcia, commented, “We are delighted that Cantab has selected Selcia as its discovery partner for this project and we look forward to a successful conclusion to the collaboration.”

Dr Mike Dawson, CEO of Cantab, commented, “When we wanted to complement our internal medicinal chemistry efforts we identified Selcia as our partner of choice for this project as it has a highly successful track-record working on complex medicinal chemistry projects and identifying development candidates from challenging starting points.”

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