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23 July 2019

The AMR Centre set for partnership with Shionogi for new superbug therapy

The AMR Centre at Alderley Park has struck a landmark agreement with Japanese pharma company Shionogi.

The deal will see the pair take forward the former's anti-virulence program COT-143, with the therapy designed to help the body tackle Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections; a hard to treat drug-resistant pathogen recognised by the WHO as a critical threat to human health.

COT-143 is a novel humanized monoclonal antibody which does not kill bacteria directly but targets an element that prevents the immune system from acting against the infection. It has "already produced encouraging results in pre-clinical studies and regulatory toxicology tests" in preparation for first-in-human clinical trials.

The AMR Centre will further develop the programme, taking it through a good manufacturing practice campaign. It is also in discussions about conducting phase one and phase two clinical trials at The Royal Liverpool University Hospital in 2020.

As part of the agreement, The AMR Centre will hold the exclusive worldwide right of research, development and manufacturing of COT-143. Shionogi, a global business with headquarters in Osaka, will share in revenues if the project progresses to market.

Dr Peter Jackson, executive director of the AMRC, said: "COT-143 is an advanced programme that has produced very promising data against a dangerous pathogen that has a great deal of natural resistance to antibiotics.

"This is also a milestone for the AMRC as it's the first programme we will get into clinic and tested in people. We have already had exploratory talks with the Royal Liverpool team about the clinical strategy for COT-143."

Jackson added that the "dwindling supply of antibiotics continues to pose a grave threat to global health".

"Projects such as COT-143 are an example of excellent research struggling to progress in the context of market failure around the development of new antibiotics. Our role is to bridge that gap and get these programs moving forward."

Yoshinori Yamano PhD, chief scientific officer for infectious diseases at Shionogi, added: "By the collaboration with AMR Centre, we expect that it will realise efficient development of COT-143, which has demonstrated the potential to reduce tissue and cellular damage by the toxins released by this system, leading to the treatment of infection caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa by using a variety of nonclinical in vitro and in vivo models.

"This collaboration, if successful, will enable us to move one step closer in realizing a protecting people from the threat of infectious diseases."

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