More News! A Good Week for Antibiotic Development & More

Try as we might, we can’t cover all the biotech news out there! This week antibiotic developers gathered at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Madrid, where they shared the latest advances in their fight against antibiotic resistance. 

  • Motif Bio, in London, has shown in Phase 3 that its antibiotic iclaprim is effective without causing kidney injury — a common problem of strong antibiotics. The company is now getting ready to seek approval of this new antibiotic.
  • Dublin-based Theravance has reported that its antibiotic Vibativ (telavancin) is effective in up to 78.8% of infections in obese patients and 76.5% in elderly patients. The results come from a big clinical trial with over 1,000 participants.
  • Summit Therapeutics, based in Oxford, has revealed the mechanism of action of a potential new antibiotic that could be effective against a wide range of gonorrhea strains, including those with multi-drug resistance.
  • Immunic, based near Munich, has started a Phase 2 trial with an immune-modulating drug aiming to treat ulcerative colitis.
  • From Leiden, the Netherlands, ISA Pharmaceuticals has started a Phase 2 study testing whether its immunotherapy ISA101 is able to shrink tumors and slow their growth in combination with Pfizer’s antibody utolimumab.
  • Acticor Biotech, in Paris, has received EMA approval to start a Phase 2 trial with a drug that could reduce the impact of a stroke.


  • Synpromics will collaborate with Lonza to improve the production of biological medicines through a £235,000 grant from Innovate UK.
  • London-based Autolus has licensed a CAR-T therapy from University College London (UCL). Like currently approved CAR-T therapies, this cell therapy targets the CD19 antigen in B cell tumors, but it is engineered to reduce the severe side effects of other CAR-T cells, which can be deadly for some patients. The CAR-T therapy is currently in Phase 1 trials.
  • Topas Therapeutics, in Hamburg, has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to design nanoparticles that can suppress immune reactions from anti-drug antibodies that render medicines ineffective.
  • The German AiCuris has received €15M from its licensee, MSD, after its antiviral for cytomegalovirus infections, letermovir, has been approved in Japan.
  • In Lyon, Adocia has sealed a deal with Tonghua Dongbao to develop and commercialize its two-in-one insulin and ultra-rapid insulin products in China.

  • The UK’s Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult has officially opened a gene therapy manufacturing center backed with over £60M from the UK Government. The new center will be based in Stevenage, a life sciences hub near Cambridge, and will provide good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards to companies developing cell and gene therapies.



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