Treatments set to improve for lethal lung disease and ulcers following drug synergy data revelation

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New data has been published today (July 7) evidencing findings that could lead to better treatment for people with lethal lung infections and infected diabetic foot ulcers caused by antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria.

Clinical stage biotechnology company, Destiny Pharma plc., focused on the development of novel products to prevent life-threatening infections, revealed the publication of the new data on XF-73 with Cardiff University in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology a peer-reviewed publication.

This research project is partly funded through a £1.6 million ($1.9 million) collaboration between Destiny Pharma, Cardiff University, China Medical Systems and University of Tianjin. The collaboration was established under the UK-China AMR grant fund set up by Innovate UK and the Department of Health and Social Care with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

XF-based drugs

These new in vitro data were generated by Emma Board-Davies and David Williams at the School of Dentistry, Cardiff University, in experiments studying the potential for XF-based drugs to enhance the effectiveness of key antibacterial treatments – many of which are now suffering from the emergence of bacterial resistance mechanisms. Multiple combinations of XF-based drugs and selected antibacterials were assessed and enhanced effectiveness beyond the action of the antibacterial drug alone was identified.

Destiny Pharma’s pipeline has novel microbiome-based biotherapeutics and XF drug clinical assets including NTCD-M3, a phase 3 ready treatment for the prevention of C. difficile infection (CDI) recurrence which is the leading cause of hospital acquired infection in the US and also XF-73 nasal gel, which has recently completed a positive phase 2b clinical trial targeting the prevention of post-surgical staphylococcal hospital infections including MRSA. It is also co-developing SPOR-COV, a novel, biotherapeutic product for the prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory infections and has earlier grant funded XF- drug research projects.

David Williams, Professor of Oral Microbiology, Cardiff University, added: “The control and management of infections involving antimicrobial resistant microorganisms is becoming increasingly problematic and as such there is urgent need for new and effective antimicrobials. An important strategy that can be exploited is combinational therapy involving multiple agents where synergistic effects are realised. This increases the efficacy of individual agents and reduces the risk of further development of resistance.”

The new findings showed a synergistic effect when XF-73 was combined with polymyxin B, a last resort antibacterial drug used to treat life-threatening lung bacterial infections. The addition of XF-73 was found to enhance polymyxin B potency against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a top priority WHO bacterial pathogen, by 4-fold.

Diabetic foot ulcers

A Synergistic effect occurred when XF-73 was combined with ertapenem, used to treat infected diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). The addition of XF-73 was found to enhance ertapenem potency against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), another top priority WHO bacterial pathogen, by 8-fold.

Bill Love, chief scientific officer of Destiny Pharma, said:These latest data emerging from the highly successful InnovateUK, China AMR XF-based drug project have identified new opportunities to deliver better treatments for lung and DFU infections by using XF-73 alongside established antibacterial drugs.

“The addition of XF-73 significantly enhances the potency of these approved antibacterial drugs, which should improve their ability to treat such infections. We will be exploring the options for further research and development to progress XF-73 in such combinations to improve the treatment of these serious lung and DFU infections.”

These positive results open the way for further studies with multidrug resistant strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and MRSA to progress the combination of XF-73 with these antibacterials as potential new treatments for serious lung and DFU infections.

The new data further add to the existing published research and clinical data relating to the XF platform and XF-73. These data clearly demonstrate the attributes of XF-based drugs and their significant potential to provide much needed new treatments that will prevent and/or treat serious infections and address the global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Destiny Pharma recently announced it was starting another new research program on the condition oral mucositis (OM), a common and devastating complication from chemotherapy and radiotherapy suffered by more than 2 million cancer patients every year.

The antimicrobial properties of XF‑73 have already been demonstrated in phase 2 clinical trials. As well as having fast-acting antimicrobial activity and a novel mechanism of action, XF-73 has an excellent safety profile and a lack of systemic exposure which means that it is ideally suited for development as an innovative oral formulation to reduce the severity of OM. 

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