Destiny Pharma announces research collaboration with Aston University

Partnership will see a dedicated team investigate potential antimicrobial candidates against biofilms

Biofilms are an increasing problem that are poorly treated by current drugs

Destiny Pharma, a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of novel antimicrobial drugs, which address the global problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), has signed a three-year research collaboration agreement with Aston University.

The research is intended to examine novel compounds from the company’s XF-platform and assess their potential to prevent, control and eradicate dangerous bacteria and biofilms.

Serious infections are sometimes caused and exacerbated by biofilms where bacteria can hide and be protected from traditional anti-infective agents. XF compounds have already shown efficacy in biofilm models and this research project will explore that further and look at the mechanisms of action.

The XF series of compounds have distinctive properties that could provide important advances in the treatment of biofilm-related infections

Tony Worthington, Reader in Clinical Microbiology at Aston University, commented: “The XF series of compounds have distinctive properties that could provide important advances in the treatment of biofilm-related infections. We are delighted to work with Destiny Pharma on the evaluation of these compounds.”

The collaboration will also look at other potential uses of the XF platform in the prevention and treatment of serious, drug resistant infections.

Aston University’s Department of Life and Health Sciences has established expertise in in vitro bacterial biofilm models that will be utilised in the collaboration. Financial terms of the collaboration have not been disclosed.

Neil Clark, Chief Executive Officer of Destiny Pharma, added: "Biofilms represent a significant barrier to antimicrobial treatment and this collaboration, which is in line with our stated strategy, may identify additional clinical candidates that are safe, effective and with a significantly reduced level of antimicrobial resistance.”

Biofilms are an increasing problem that are poorly treated by current drugs as they act as a protective barrier for bacteria and have been traditionally associated with indwelling medical devices (for example, heart valves and joint replacements) and invasive medical devices (for example, catheters and endoscopes). It is now acknowledged that biofilms have a major involvement in bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections, middle-ear infections, gingivitis, corneal infections and more lethal diseases such as endocarditis and cystic fibrosis.

More recently it has been noted that bacterial biofilms may impair cutaneous wound healing and reduce topical antibacterial efficiency in healing or treating infected skin wounds, including burns and leg ulcers.

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