Infex Therapeutics, an Alderley Park based drug discovery firm, has progressed its program to treat infections caused by critical-priority resistant bacteria.
The firm has announced the appointment of Pharmaron to manufacture its patented molecule in preparation for toxicology screening and stability testing. Infex’s MET-X therapy has a target of entering phase one clinical trials in 2022. The novel therapy aims to inhibit the enzymes used by bacteria to defend themselves against antibiotics, restoring the functionality of existing drugs.
The patented molecule has been selected following three years of preclinical research at Infex, which in-licensed the program from Swedish company Medivir AB.
Peter Jackson, Executive Director, Infex Therapeutics, said:
We are delighted to have reached this milestone and see MET-X progress towards clinical trials. Our mission is to overcome resistance mechanisms and develop new treatments for serious infections. MET-X is our first MBL inhibitor and, we hope, the most effective broad-spectrum therapy against the emerging class of superbugs that are particularly prevalent in India and China.
“The microbes have evolved so that they produce an enzyme that uses the metal Zinc to inactivate existing β-lactam antibiotics. This renders some of the most widely-used drugs such as meropenem and imipenem ineffective, and MET-X has been shown in lab studies to restore the activity of these important treatments.”
The strains of bacteria this new therapy aims to treat represent a series threat to global public health, and were classed as critical-priority by the World Health Organisation. First identified in 2008, they have already caused significant fatalities due to resistant infections of the blood, urinary tract, lungs and wounds.