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AMR Centre, Shionogi team up for superbug therapy

The AMR Centre has announced a landmark agreement with the Japanese pharma company Shionogi to take forward its anti-virulence program, COT-143

COT-143 is a novel humanised monoclonal antibody designed to help the body tackle pseudomonas aeruginosa infections, a hard to treat drug-resistant pathogen recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a critical threat to human health.

The therapy 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 program, taking it through a Good Manufacturing Practice clinical manufacturing campaign. It is in discussions about conducting phase one and phase two clinical trials at The Royal Liverpool University Hospital in 2020.

On completion of the agreement the centre will hold the exclusive worldwide right of research, development and manufacturing of COT-143 and Shionogi will share in revenues if the project progresses to market.

Dr Peter Jackson, executive director of the AMRC, said that COT-143 is an advanced program that has “produced very promising data against a dangerous pathogen that has a great deal of natural resistance to antibiotics. So we are very pleased to have reached this agreement and to be able to progress the high-quality science produced by Shionogi.

“This is also a milestone for the AMRC as it’s the first program 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.”

He continued, “Our 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.”

COT-143 exerts its anti-virulence activity through inhibition of the PcrV component of the type 3 secretion system (T3SS), a key virulence mechanism of pseudomonas aeruginosa.