Discovery of breakthrough MRSA compound

02 Jun 2015

Redx Pharma is pleased to announce that it has reached pre-clinical development stage with a new anti-infective compound designed to tackle Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), the bacterium that causes potentially lethal infections in humans.

The discovery is a significant milestone for Redx’s commercial partnership with the NHS, working with The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust (“the Trust”). This is the third Redx program to identify a drug development candidate since the beginning of the year.

The new compound is a member of the first new potential class of antibiotics to emerge in a generation and will be the first to progress through the development pathway established between Redx and the Trust under the terms of their partnership. This collaboration, signed in September 2013, was formed to find new drugs to combat the growing threat of drug-resistant bacteria, including MRSA.

Redx’s compound demonstrates excellent oral efficacy and has the potential to be easily administered both in the wider community and in a hospital setting. This is in contrast to the current treatment for MRSA, which typically requires in-hospital treatment with antibiotics available only in an injectable form.

The next stage of development will see the compound undergo pre-clinical testing managed by Redx. Following this, the new candidate will go into clinical development at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, where it will be tested in humans at the Covance-Royal Liverpool University Hospital Clinical Research Unit. Once clinical proof of concept is reached, Redx will be responsible for the onward licensing of the candidate drug to a pharmaceutical partner for further development and commercialisation.

MRSA has been identified by the World Health Organisation as one of the six most dangerous, drug-resistant ESKAPE pathogens that are a leading cause of hospital infections and increasingly immune to the effects of antibiotics.

According to recent findings from the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, a UK Government initiative chaired by Jim O’Neill, resistant infections will cost the world 10 million extra deaths a year and up to $100 trillion USD by 2050, if left unchecked.

Dr Neil Murray, Redx Pharma Chief Executive, said: We’re very excited by the possibilities presented by the discovery of this compound, which could have global implications in the fight against drug resistant infections. The lack of new drugs to target drug-resistant infections is a critical issue, as is finding more efficient ways to administer them to patients.

Our collaboration with the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust has been very productive so far and demonstrates the benefits to be gained by the NHS and industry of working in partnership to tackle this very complex global threat. We look forward to a deepening relationship as our new compound makes the transition into human testing.

Aidan Kehoe, Trust chief executive, said: This is a huge step forward in the fight against antibiotic resistant infections, in particular drug resistant MRSA, that has significant implications for how hospitals provide safer care for patients. Our work with Redx highlights how the development of new compounds such as this can be made faster and significantly cheaper, whilst providing our patients with access to the very latest drugs and treatments.

This is also excellent news for the city of Liverpool and our future plans towards making Liverpool a hub for world class research that will help us improve healthcare for patients in Liverpool and beyond.

For more information about Redx Pharma’s drug development pipeline, click here.