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  • Mike Westby

Award to Boost Technology Targeting Antibacterial Resistance

Oct 14 2017 Read 302 Times

Up to £945,000 has been awarded to Centauri Therapeutics Ltd, a company focused on the treatment of infectious diseases and cancer, under Innovate UK’s Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) programme. The award, alongside backing from the Company’s investors, will co-fund research to generate a clinical candidate drug against Gram-negative bacteria- a major cause of mortality in hospital-acquired pneumonias - using the Company’s Alphamer™ technology. This drug mechanism utilises chemically synthesised molecules to redirect pre-existing antibodies to pathogens in a specific manner that elicits an immune response. This immune response will mediate destruction of the bacteria to clear the infection, while working in conjunction with existing antibiotics to reduce the dose and duration of therapy. Unlike traditional vaccines, this approach aims to treat infected patients and has the potential to elicit a broader immune response than monoclonal antibodies alone.

Dr Mike Westby, Director and CEO of Centauri Therapeutics said: “The lack of new antibiotics combined with increasing incidence of bacterial resistance in the clinic has been termed ‘the perfect storm’ and there is an urgent need for innovative methods and efficacious therapies. The BMC Award is a significant recognition of Centauri’s scientific expertise and demonstrates the UK government’s confidence in our team’s ability to combat antibacterial resistance and deliver novel treatments for patients.”

Total costs for the project titled ‘Optimisation of antibody recruiting molecules as immunotherapeutics’ are estimated at £1.35M. The co-funding from Innovate UK will cover up to 70% of this, with Centauri’s investors supporting the remaining 30% of the project costs over a two-year period.

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