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Polyphor awarded grant for antibiotic

Pharmaceutical company Polyphor is developing a novel antibiotic against the deadliest and most resistant Gram-negative bacterial pathogens. It has been awarded a grant of up to US$5.6 million to continue this work.

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The CARB-X initiative has awarded a grant to Polyphor, it was reported in a press release. CARB-X is a Boston University global partnership dedicated to accelerating early development antibacterial research. The initiative’s funding is provided by the U.S. government bodies as well as organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With this grant of up to US$5.6 million, CARB-X is financing preclinical research and a Phase I clinical trial for the development of Polyphor’s novel candidate.

Polyphor is set to receive initial funding of up to US$2.6 million for the development of an OMPTA (Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotics) candidate. A further US$3.0 million is contingent on certain project milestones being met. The OMPTA candidate targets the “deadliest and most resistant Gram-negative bacterial pathogens”.

“We are delighted to be partnering with CARB-X, which provides further support to our research efforts in finding new solutions against resistant Gram-negative bacteria,” commented Polyphor CEO Giacomo Di Nepi in the press release. “This is another important endorsement of the OMPTA program, following the grant by Wellcome Trust in 2016-2018 and the funding by Novo Holding A/S in September 2018.”

With OMPTA, Polyphor has potentially discovered and is developing “the first new class of antibiotics against Gram-negative bacteria to have reached phase III stage in the last 50 years”. The company has already reached Phase III clinical trial stage with its lead product, murepavadin, which has been developed against the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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