This French Biotech is Protecting Our Drugs from Antibiotic Resistance

This week, we’re in Saint Louis, a town in the Alsace region of France, to visit Allecra Therapeutics, a biotech that has joined the fight against antibiotic resistance.

Mission: With antibiotic resistance already a major global issue, and showing no signs of slowing down, Allecra Therapeutics was established in 2013 to overcome antibiotic resistance mechanisms. The company is developing an extended-spectrum β-lactamase inhibitor, AAI101, which is currently undergoing a Phase II trial with cefepime, while a Phase I trial with piperacillin has just been completed.

This approach blocks a common resistance mechanisms used by hard-to-treat bacteria, which often cause hospital-acquired Gram-negative bacterial infections – the hydrolysis of β-lactam. It appears to be working too, with AAI101 outperforming another β-lactamase inhibitor, tazobactam, against various resistant pathogens.

Comment: Antibiotic resistance is already estimated to kill around  700,000 people around the world each year, which could rise to 10 million by 2050. Therefore, it is a relief to see Allecra and many other biotechs doing something about it. β-lactamase inhibitors are not a new approach to overcoming resistance, but if Allecra manages to improve on what is already available, then it could be a big step forward. Elsewhere, Da Volterra has also developed a product, DAV132, to be co-administered with antibiotics, which ‘soaks up’ antibiotic residues in the colon to protect the microbiota.

Image – Paul M Graphics /

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