This week, we’re in Groningen in the Netherlands to visit AGILeBiotics, a biotech that uses its own platform to restore the function of antibiotics that can no longer effectively fight bacterial infections.
Mission: AGILeBiotics, a spin-out from the University of Groningen, was founded in 2017 to accelerate the development of new antibiotics. It wants to do this using its OxaSelect platform, which modifies existing antibiotics to overcome resistance against them. AGILeBiotics hopes this will give these drugs a second life on the market and it has started drug discovery and development and with the hope of starting late preclinical testing this year. Long-term, it plans to take its first drug candidate up to Phase IIa, at which point it will look to out-license the drug.
Comment: I’m constantly reminded of shocking statistics like antibiotic resistance causing 700,000 deaths a year and it potentially becoming a bigger killer than cancer by 2050. AGILeBiotics is quick to point out that the effects of the antibiotic resistance crisis will go beyond our health and affect other areas of society like the economy.
With the development of new antibiotics slow and expensive and bacteria quickly developing resistance to new drugs, biotech and pharma companies have been put off getting involved in the field. AGILeBiotics’ approach could help to cut the time, money, and risk associated with this area of research. However, this may not be a long-term solution but rather an approach that fills the gap while other techniques are developed.
Media – Gaspar Janos / shutterstock.com; AGILeBiotics