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BioVersys works to bring antinbiotic resistance to an end

已有 2033 次阅读 2014-12-18 23:43 |个人分类:好文转载|系统分类:科研笔记| resistance, antibiotic


9 December 2014 - In May this year, BioVersys started a project in collaboration with Lille University and GlaxoSmithKline to develop a preclinical candidate for the treatment of tuberculosis, a disease that alone kills more than 1.5 million people each year.


Marcel Tigges and Marc Gitzinger from BioVersys ©Martin heimann

BioVersys, 2008 venture kick winner and venture leader USA, announced together with the University of Lille that they had reached the first milestone in their collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The collaboration, which started in May 2014, aims to develop an effective treatment against tuberculosis (TB). As a result, it will now move into the second stage which is to develop a preclinical candidate.

Antibiotic resistance is a ticking time bomb, one which BioVersys wants to defuse, thanks to its research based on the identification and the inactivation of bacterial resistance factors in relevant pathogens. The collaboration that is funded by the Wellcome Trust utilizes BioVersys’ award-winning innovative TRIC technology  (Transcriptional Regulator Inhibitory Compounds) to accelerate the discovery of Transcriptional Regulator Inhibitory Compounds. The project, built upon a very long history of research on Transcriptional Regulators in TB in Lille, will advance molecules that hypersensitize the deadly bacteria to established TB therapies.

The Wellcome Trust is funding the development activities as part of a pre-existing collaboration with GSK towards finding treatments for diseases largely affecting low-income countries. Marc Gitzinger, CEO of BioVersys commented: “We are very pleased that we have achieved the first milestone in our collaboration with GSK. This is a further confirmation of our TRIC technology. We look forward to advancing in the months ahead the final development of a potent tuberculosis treatment, jointly with GSK’s scientists and our colleagues at Université de Lille.”

Professor Xavier Vandendriessche, President of Université de Lille 2, droit et santé: “This project illustrates how a tight partnership between academic teams and pharmaceutical laboratories can successfully address crucial but neglected medical needs such as innovative therapies against tuberculosis”.

Tuberculosis - a neglected disease, a global threat
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death globally from a bacterial infectious disease. It is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis which is present (mostly in a latent form) in nearly two thirds of the world’s population. The disease was believed to be on the decline for many years however, WHO reports show there are nine million new cases of active TB every year, and it is estimated that about 1.6 million people die annually from the disease. Moreover, poor compliance with existing treatments has led to the emergence of drug-resistance, which has been exacerbated by the lack of new treatments in the last 40 years.

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. The Wellcome Trust provides more than £700 million a year to support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine.

BioVersys: It all started with venture kick
Since its creation in 2008, BioVersys won the venture kick final in 2009, generated CHF 2.5 million in seed money and found a home for their lab in the Technologiepark Basel. venture kick played a decisive role in the startup's success, as Marc Gitzinger, the co-founder of BioVersys, says: “venture kick was the first seed capital we received in the company; without this we would not have been able to get off the ground and get our first results. Saying this really means that BioVersys would probably not exist without venture kick. In addition to the money, the coaching and the contacts gained through venture kick really kick-started our company”.

Marc Gitzinger was also a Venture leader USA in 2008. He had the opportunity to travel to Boston for a 10 days intensive program, meet local investors, startups and experts, and learn more about the internationalization of his business. In addition to Boston, the program now brings the 20 selected entrepreneurs to New York every year.

The Swiss biopharmaceutical company focuses on research and development of small molecules, which switch off drug resistance against existing antibiotics. With the company’s award-winning TRIC technology it will be possible to restore the efficacy of established antibiotics. BioVersys addresses the high unmet medical need for new treatments of life-threatening bacterial infections that emerged in recent years due to antibiotic resistance. BioVersys' compounds will be used in combination with existing antibiotics, thereby renewing efficacy as well as intellectual property for the established drug. The current research focus is on Nosocomial Infections (hospital infections) and Tuberculosis. In collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and a consortium of the University of Lille, BioVersys aims to develop an effective treatment against Tuberculosis.

About University of Lille consortium
The University of Lille consortium is led by expert scientists in TB research and drug discovery from the Institut Pasteur de Lille, Université de Lille, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). The teams of Professors Nicolas Willand, Alain Baulard and Benoît Deprez have conceived the innovative strategy behind this project. They now share within this public-private partnership their expertise in design, synthesis and testing of the active compounds.

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