Beyond Biotech podcast 23: World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, PsychoGenics

November 18, 2022 - 3 minutes

This week, we have three interviews on the theme of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), to mark World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.

We spoke with Holger Zimmermann, CEO of anti-infectives company AiCuris; Neil Clark, CEO of Destiny Pharma, and Fredrik Almqvist, co-founder of QureTech Bio.

We also have an interview with the chief scientific officer at PsychoGenics, Mark Varney.

We also have our weekly contribution from global commercial real estate services company JLL, with Travis McCready. 

Next week, we will be moderating a webinar on the microbiome, hosted by our sister company IN-PART. You can register here.

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines may become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat. 

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A global action plan to tackle the growing problem of resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines was endorsed at the 68th World Health Assembly in 2015. A key objective of the plan is to improve awareness and understanding of AMR through effective communication, education and training.

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is a global campaign to improve awareness and understanding of AMR. 

Emyria commences U.S. preclinical program with PsychoGenics

Emyria Limited, a clinical stage biotech, is working with PsychoGenics, a specialist neuroscience preclinical drug discovery and contract research organization (CRO).

Emyria and partner, the University of Western Australia, will start by screening five novel MDMA analogs from their proprietary library using PsychoGenics’ advanced drug discovery platform, SmartCube.

SmartCube employs computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) to extract and analyze behavioral and physiological data from mice. These data can help predict the clinical effects of new drug compounds by comparing the novel drug’s effects to reference drug libraries.

The automated testing platform offers an effective approach to the discovery and development of the next generation of breakthrough treatments for neurological disorders and can significantly reduce the time and cost to reaching approved Investigational New Drug status.

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PsychoGenics and Emyria have agreed to work collaboratively (at their own costs) in the initial phase, before exploring drug discovery and commercialization partnership models.

PsychoGenics’s specialist drug screening platforms have been used in shared-risk partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies, including Sunovion and Roche, resulting in the discovery of several novel compounds now in clinical trials or advanced preclinical development. A successful partnership with Emyria could accelerate the development of Emyria’s novel MDMA-inspired drug candidate library, built with the University of Western Australia, into new treatments for severe neuropsychiatric disorders.

“Emyria and PsychoGenics share a common vision of accelerating the development of novel drug candidates to treat major neuropsychiatric disorders,” said Emer Leahy, CEO of PsychoGenics. 

“Emyria’s leadership team and academic partners put the company at the forefront of MDMA-inspired neuropsychiatric drug development, and we are eager to help advance its preclinical program using our AI-enabled discovery engine and explore further partnership models together.”

PsychoGenics has successfully identified novel treatment candidates for serious and complex neuropsychiatric disorders via its proprietary SmartCube platform as well as formed innovative partnerships with major Pharmaceutical companies.

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