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7 July, 2014 - 08:29 By News Desk

Cambridge answers antibiotics call to arms

PM David Cameron - “more powerful antibiotics needed“

A Cambridge company is in the vanguard of the Government’s fight to develop more powerful antibiotics to kill hospital acquired infections that trigger pneumonia.

Phico Therapeutics is also answering PM David Cameron’s call for more bug-busters generally as bacteria continue to defy treatment for a vast range of conditions.

Babraham-based Phico – developing a novel platform technology for a new generation of antibiotics aimed at overcoming resistance – has now been awarded a £1.6 million biomedical catalyst grant by the Technology Strategy Board.

The cash will help Phico develop its SASPject™ technology against the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa which can rapidly develop resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics. New classes of treatment are said to be desperately needed. It is a serious, usually hospital-acquired infection and the second leading cause of hospital acquired pneumonias.

The grant for the antibiotic SASPject™ PT3 will enable the company to refine and scale up the manufacturing process and transfer to a contract manufacturing organisation and conduct preclinical efficacy and safety studies to make the product ready for first in man studies.

SASPject™ PT3 will initially be aimed at use in the treatment of serious Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections where limited treatment options exist.

Dr Heather Fairhead, Phico Therapeutics’ founder and CEO said: “We believe the grant by the Technology Strategy Board is a powerful endorsement of our SASPject™ technology and the potential it holds for a new generation of antibacterials to overcome the problem of antibiotic resistance.

“Phico Therapeutics believes that SASPject™ offers one of the best potential solutions for overcoming the challenge of antibiotic resistance, and we look forward to working on developing our PT3 product to get it ready for clinical trials.” 


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