Argenta announces that it has signed a collaboration agreement with Pcovery. The collaboration is funded by a Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery (SDD) award.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention*, mycotic (fungal) infections pose a growing threat to public health. Opportunistic infections such as cryptococcosis and aspergillosis are becoming increasingly problematic due to the rising number of people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, transplant recipients, and people with HIV/AIDS. In addition, hospital-associated infections such as candidemia are a leading cause of bloodstream infections in the United States and advances and changes in healthcare practices can provide opportunities for new and drug-resistant fungi to emerge in hospital settings. Finally, community-acquired infections such as coccidioidomycosis (valley fever), blastomycosis, and histoplasmosis are caused by fungi that are abundant in the environment and whose prevalence may be being increased by climate change. Consequently, there is a need for novel anti-fungal agents that can tackle threats such as these.
Pcovery is focused on the development of safe and efficient broad-spectrum anti-fungal agents using structure-based drug discovery to target membrane proteins. Pcovery is a spin-out company from the PUMPkin Centre (Centre for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease) at Aarhus University and Copenhagen University and was established in April 2009. The company’s investors include Novo Seeds and Østjysk Innovation.
Dr John Montana, Managing Director of Argenta, commented, “Argenta is pleased to announce this collaboration with Pcovery, which represents the third Wellcome Trust SDD-funded project aided by Argenta during the funding rounds in 2012. The Argenta team looks forward to working with Pcovery towards achieving the project goals over the coming months”.
Mr Casper Tind Hansen, CEO of Pcovery says, “We look forward very much to working with the highly skilled and capable Argenta team to progress what will hopefully be a novel class of anti-fungal drugs for invasive fungal infections. The Argenta team has already been a big help in securing the Wellcome Trust SDD funding.”
*US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/, accessed 14 May 2013.