Debiopharm Group, a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical company developing prescription drugs for unmet medical and companion diagnostics, will acquire Affinium Pharmaceuticals’ clinical and preclinical assets, as well as its technology platform.
Canada-based Affinium focusing on the development of a platform of novel, targeted narrow-spectrum antibacterial therapeutics.
The clinical assets include AFN-1252, a FabI inhibitor designated by the FDA as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) which has successfully completed a phase IIa study for the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI), and its prodrug AFN-1720, currently in phase I clinical development. Both compounds are highly potent agents that are selectively active against all Staphylococcus species and strains tested thus far (5400 strains) including all known resistant strains such as methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (VISA). AFN-1252 has demonstrated an excellent efficacy, safety and tolerability profile in over 250 subjects. The possibility to treat staphylococcal infections with a molecule that allows for an intravenous-oral switch will be a major advance to address difficult-to-treat infections. Debiopharm will develop concomitantly with the clinical trials a diagnostic test that will allow selection of Staphylococcus-infected patients, and increase the success of treatment.
"This acquisition is a strategic choice for Debiopharm and represents a massive continuing investment in antibiotic development. In September 2013, we entered the antibiotics arena by signing an agreement with TCG Life Sciences (India) to develop a novel class of antibiotics," said Thierry Mauvernay, delegate of the board of Debiopharm Group. "In 2013, the scientific community has shown that the gut microbiome plays vital roles in determining how the body responds to challenges as different as malnutrition, autoimmune diseases and cancer. Thus, we are convinced that it is crucial to develop innovative targeted antibiotics which preserve indigenous gut microbiota and overcome resistance to broad-spectrum antibiotics. Debiopharm intends to make additional investments in this promising field and become a key player in this therapeutic area and associated diagnostics."