Xellia Pharmaceuticals, SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, and the Statens Serum Institut, have entered a collaboration agreement to develop new antibiotics effective against multi-drug resistant (MDR), Gram-negative bacteria. The four-year project is being supported by a $3 million grant from the Research Council of Norway (NFR), and also includes contributions from labs across Europe.
Xellia aims to develop new antibiotics that target Gram-negative bacterial infections, caused by Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, Acinetobacter and Enterobacter species. Pan-drug resistant (PDR) and extensively drug resistant (XDR) Gram-negative bacteria are becoming more common. Currently there are only two antibiotic subclasses available to treat XDR infections, polymyxins and tigecycline.
Dr. Aleksandar Danilovski, vice president of R&D at Xellia, said, “As the world’s leading supplier of both polymyxin B and colistin, Xellia has the experience and capability to develop new, polymyxin-like drugs with less side-effects. These drugs have the potential to address the immediate global need for antibiotics to overcome MDR infections, in particular those caused by PDR and XDR Gram-negative bacteria.”
Carl-Åke Carlsson, chief executive officer of Xellia, said, “I am convinced that with Xellia’s intellectual resources, and its decades of pharmaceutical developmental and manufacturing experience, we can make substantial progress in meeting this challenge. If successful, the results for patients of these infections and the potential market for these new drugs could be huge. This is a great opportunity to develop new drugs where there is an immediate and pressing medical need.”