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Polyphor AG: Polyphor launches the development of an inhaled formulation of its antibiotic Murepavadin and joins a European consortium of leading hospitals and research institutions

(October 12, 2017)

EQS Group-News: Polyphor AG / Key word(s): Agreement/Contract

12.10.2017 / 09:03


Allschwil, Switzerland, October 12, 2017, 09:00 CET

Funding up to proof-of-concept in man will be provided for EUR 5 million by Polyphor and for another EUR 5 million by IMI via the funding of a consortium dedicated to the development of Inhaled Antibiotics in Bronchiectasis and Cystic Fibrosis (iABC).
 
Polyphor Ltd., today announced the development of an inhaled dosage form of its novel break­through antibiotic Murepavadin. In order to support and accelerate the develop­ment, Polyphor will leverage a European program dedicated to the development of in­haled anti­biotics, iABC - a consortium of leading lung specialists in 18 hospitals and research insti­tutions in eight Euro­pean countries. These institutions will receive up to EUR 5 million funding for this project from the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a public-private partnership of EFPIA and the EU, while Polyphor will invest up to EUR 5 million.
 
Respiratory infections, especially those caused by drug-resistant bacteria, are the main cause of dis­ease and death in people with cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis. Thanks to inhaled anti­biotics, patients now live longer than ever before and enjoy a better quality of life. However, ad­ditional treatment options are needed to reduce the bacterial load and fight resistant patho­gens - and especially resistant Pseu­do­monas strains.
 
The iABC project is a Europe-wide program funded by the IMI to develop new, life-saving anti­biotic treat­ments to manage chronic lung infection. The two industry partners are Polyphor and Novartis.
 
Murepavadin (POL7080) is the first representative of the Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotics (OMPTA), a class of antibiotics against Gram-negative bacteria with a novel mode of action discovered by Polyphor. It is a precision antibiotic specifically targeting Pseudo­mo­nas aeruginosa, one of the most difficult to treat pathogens, and is highly potent and active also against multi-drug resistant strains.

Pivotal studies of Murepavadin's intravenous formulation will be initiated in the first months of 2018 for the treatment of patients with nosocomial pneumonia (Ventilator-associated and hospital-acquired pneumonia; VAP/HAP) caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, including its resistant strains. The inhaled formulation of Murepavadin could extend the therapy to the treat­ment of chronic infections by Pseudomonas aeruginosa - affecting for example over 60% of the adult patients with cystic fibrosis and many of those with non-CF bronchiectasis and other rare lung diseases.
 
Professor Stuart Elborn, Professor of respiratory medicine at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London and Principal Investigator, said: "Just a few decades ago, most cystic fibrosis patients died in early childhood. Thanks to antibiotics, patients born today can expect to reach early middle age. However, this progress is threatened by the fact that current medicines do not fully eradicate the infections." He continued: "The iABC project represents an important contri­bution to efforts to counter this threat. Our work has the potential to deliver new inhaled anti­biotics that will improve the quality of life and survival of patients with cystic fibrosis and bron­chi­ectasis by reducing the number of lung infections, improving lung function, and overcoming antibacterial resistance."
 
Giacomo Di Nepi, Chief Executive Officer of Polyphor, said: "Cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis patients are a vulnerable group. They are at particular risk of chronic infection. We are pleased and honored to be selected as one of two industry partners of the iABC consortium to develop an inhaled formulation of Murepavadin as a new treatment option. Our investigational anti­bio­tic reaches high concentration in the lung and shows a high efficacy against Pseudomonas aeru­­­ginosa, the main cause of chronic lung infections in cystic fibrosis, affecting the majority of patients. In addition, by targeting only Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Murepavadin does not in­duce further resistance in other pathogens, which could infect these patients. Murepavadin may therefore provide a new important treatment option for patients with cystic fibrosis and bron­chiectasis."
 
About Cystic Fibrosis and Murepavadin
 
Cystic fibrosis is a common inherited disease that affects around 36,000 people in the EU and 70,000 patients worldwide. People with cystic fibrosis face regular respiratory infections with 60% of adults suffering lung infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Chronic bacterial pulmonary infections lead to an irreversible decline in lung structure and function. Today, res­pi­ratory failure is the cause of death for 95% of patients with cystic fibrosis.
 
Bronchiectasis refers to a group of diseases in which the airways become damaged and scarred. Patients affected with bronchiectasis experience similar symptoms to cystic fibrosis, including regular respiratory infections, often with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Bronchiectasis is considered an emerging disease as more and more people in industrialized countries are dia­gnosed. As a consequence, no reliable indications for prevalence are available. Data from iABC's intended patient registry will increase the understanding of the disease and help to iden­tify measures to assess the clinical effectiveness of potential medicines. Today, there are no therapies approved to treat bronchiectasis.

Murepavadin is a potent precision antibiotic with very low rate of resistance development
Murepavadin (POL7080) is the first representative of the Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotics (OMPTA) class, a class of antibiotics against Gram-negative bacteria with a novel mode of action discovered by Polyphor. Murepavadin is highly potent and unlikely to nega­­tively impact the patient's native bacterial flora. No cross-resistance with current standard of care antibiotics has been observed.
 
Earlier this summer, Polyphor received positive guidance from the US Food and Drug Admini­stra­tion (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency for phase III development of Murepavadin for the treatment of patients with nosocomial pneumonia (ventilator-associated and hospital-ac­quired pneumonia; VAP/HAP) caused by infections through Pseudomonas aeruginosa, including its resistant strains. The Company is currently finalizing the study protocol in collabo­ration with its investigators and is initiating the pivotal development program. First patient en­rolling is expected by Q1/2018.
 
In addition, the FDA has granted the QIDP (Qualified Infectious Disease Product) status to Murepavadin, which makes the compound eligible for priority review and statutory exclusivity for an additional five years upon approval. Such status is exclusively reserved for break­through medicines in life-threatening indications. Polyphor also develops other members of this new class of antibiotics which show excellent activity towards a broad range of Gram-negative pathogens, including isolates resistant to all other antibiotic classes.
 
About IMI and iABC
 
IMI is a partnership between the EU and the European pharmaceutical industry
The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is the world's biggest public-private initiative in life sciences aiming to improve health by speeding up the development of, and patient access to, the next generation of medicines, particularly in areas of unmet medical or societal need. IMI is a joint undertaking between the European Union and the pharmaceutical industry asso­ci­ation EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations).
 
IMI supports collaborative research projects and builds networks of industrial and academic ex­perts in order to boost pharmaceutical innovation in Europe. Through the IMI 2 program, IMI has a budget of EUR 3.3 billion for the period 2014 to 2024. Half of this comes from EU's re­search and innovation program, Horizon 2020. The other half is committed mostly by EFPIA companies.
 
In November 2011, the European Commission launched its first Action Plan against the rising threat from Antimicrobial Resistance, and called for unprecedented collaborative research and development efforts to bring new antibiotics to patients. The New Drugs for Bad Bugs (ND4BB) program was launched within the IMI in direct response to this call.
 
More information on IMI is available from http://www.imi.europa.eu/ and www.efpia.eu.

iABC unites Europe's leading lung specialists and researchers
The iABC (inhaled Antibiotics in Bronchiectasis and Cystic Fibrosis) project is part of New Drugs for Bad Bugs (ND4BB) program to develop new antibiotic treatments to manage chronic lung infections and will also establish the first European patient register for bronchiectasis, pro­viding a platform to improve the quality of care for patients across Europe. It is a EUR 50 million pan-European project launched in 2015 funded by the European Commission through IMI and the EFPIA and involves leading lung specialists from 20 organizations in eight Euro­pean countries including industry partners Polyphor and Novartis.
 
The iABC consortium involves researchers from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Spain, Ger­­many, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It is led by the School of Me­­dicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, and the School of Pharmacy at Queen's Uni­ver­sity Belfast, Northern Ireland. Additional organizations involved are the Health and Social Care Trust, University Medical Center Utrecht, Belgium; Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, the Nether­lands; Servicio Madrileño de Salud, Madrid, Spain; Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen, Bel­gium; University of Dundee, Scotland; Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche, Poi­tiers, France; Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy; Hospices Civils de Lyon, France; Medi­zi­nische Hochschule Hannover, Germany; Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium; University of Edin­burgh, Scotland; Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, London, England; Vall d'Hebron Institut de Recerca, Barcelona, Spain; Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Cam­bridge, England; Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and the EFPIA com­panies Polyphor Ltd., Allschwil, Switzerland, and Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland.
 
For more information on the iABC Programme, visit http://www.iabcproject.com/.

Contact:
Kalina Scott
Investor Relations
Polyphor Ltd
Tel: +41 61 567 16 00
Email: [email protected]
 
About Polyphor:
Polyphor is a clinical stage, privately held Swiss specialty Pharma Company, focused on the develop­ment of macrocycle drugs that address antibiotic resistance and severe respiratory diseases. The com­pany's lead drug candidates include: 
  • Murepavadin (POL7080, entering Phase III / pivotal registration program), a precision Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotic (OMPTA) against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
     
  • POL6014 (in Phase Ib), an inhaled inhibitor of neutrophil elastase for the treatment of cystic fibrosis and other neutrophilic lung diseases.
     
  • Balixafortide (POL6326, in Phase Ib), an antagonist of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 for combination treatment in oncology.
In addition, Polyphor has discovered and is developing the OMPTA class to address infections caused by difficult-to-treat, resistant Gram-negative pathogens. Polyphor has an important activity of discovery technology partnerships to assist pharma companies in research programs addressing difficult targets through its proprietary macrocycle technology platform.
 
For more information about Polyphor, please visit: www.polyphor.com

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Document title: Polyphor AG: Polyphor launches the development of an inhaled formulation of its antibiotic Murepavadin and joins a European consortium of leading hospitals and research institutions


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