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Argenta, Antabio Achieve Milestone in Anti-bacterial Drug Discovery Collaboration

Published: Monday, March 10, 2014
Last Updated: Monday, March 10, 2014
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Argenta has achieved a milestone with its collaboration partner Antabio in an anti-bacterial drug discovery project funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The attainment of the milestone triggers the drawdown of a further €1.7 million tranche of their Seeding Drug Discovery Award.

A novel lead series of pan-metallo beta-lactamase inhibitors has been identified that, in combination with carbapenems, restores antibacterial activity against life-threatening clinical isolates whilst exhibiting no toxicity or developmental issues. Multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria account for most hospital infections worldwide, causing up to 75,000 deaths yearly and extra healthcare costs/productivity losses of >€1.5 billion. One of the most effective treatments is the use of carbapenem antibiotics; however, the usefulness of these antibiotics is becoming increasingly compromised due to the rise of clinical resistance, associated with the spread of genes encoding various MBL enzymes, primarily the carbapenemases of the NDM, VIM and IMP types. 

The Argenta/Antabio collaboration began in February 2013, when the Wellcome Trust awarded Antabio €4.7 Million to fund the discovery of a novel, safe and efficacious pan-inhibitor of bacterial metallo beta-lactamases (MBLs). Since then, Argenta has provided medicinal chemistry, computer-aided drug design and ADME/PK services, together with its integrated drug discovery expertise, to assist Antabio achieve its research goals.

“To have achieved on schedule our first milestone in our collaboration with the Trust is a great satisfaction for our team, and a sign that solid foundations are in place for this discovery programme.” said Marc Lemonnier, CEO of Antabio. “We believe the therapeutic potential of a small-molecule pan-MBL inhibitor is very significant and will eventually improve the outcome for patients suffering from severe nosocomial Gram-negative infections. This milestone will support further lead optimization efforts to progress our compounds rapidly towards pre-clinical candidate nomination.”

John Montana, Argenta’s Managing Director, added “We are delighted to have achieved this milestone with our collaboration partner, Antabio, and look forward to our continuing partnership on this exciting drug discovery project. Once again, this achievement underlines Argenta’s ability to deliver high quality science within exacting deadlines.”


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