Aquapharm Biodiscovery, a Scottish marine biotechnology company, has made a discovery in the development of next-generation antibiotics.
The firm has discovered a new antibiotic compound thought to be effective against a broad spectrum of multi-drug resistant bacteria, including multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MDRSA) and multi-drug resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (MDRSP), Clostridium difficile and Enteroccocus faecalis.
The compound, AQP-182, is one of a number of druggable new molecules identified by Aquapharm from its collection of more than 10,000 marine micro-organisms. Scientists screened a fraction of the collection to look for micro-organisms which may have anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties—and discovered 16 compounds with potent pharmacological potential.
Five new chemical entities, including AQP-182, are now in preclinical development at Aquapharm for the treatment of bacterial infections resistant to existing therapies.
“We are very pleased with the output of our drug discovery platform based on marine microorganisms,” said Dr. Tim Morley, CSO of Aquapharm. “From an initial screening of a small portion of our natural product library we have identified 16 novel compounds belonging to totally novel and diverse chemical classes. The most advanced compound AQP-182 has a promising pharmacological and pharmacokinetic profile which is extremely relevant for the treatment of hard to treat resistant bacterial infections”.
Initial in vivo studies of AQP-182 suggest greater potency than the current “best-in-class” drug used against MDRSA, and Aquapharm's experts believe it could have the potential for once-a-day dosing.
A phase I clinical trial is expected in the second half of 2013.