Cambridge, UK and Stevenage, UK – 12 September 2017 - Domainex and Auspherix have announced new data from their collaboration to develop novel candidate drugs to tackle the growing threat of resistance to antibiotics.
The exciting data, disclosed today in both a poster and an oral presentation by Dr Jonathan Powell from Domainex at the 19th RSC / SCI Medicinal Chemistry Symposium in Cambridge, UK, describe the discovery of three distinct chemical series, all with broad-spectrum antibacterial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Importantly the Auspherix compounds are active against the so-called ESKAPE pathogens1 which are responsible for the majority of hospital infections.
Founding research behind Auspherix’s antibacterial compounds, identified auranofin (Ridaura) as being active against Gram-positive bacteria. Auranofin is an FDA-approved organogold compound with a long history of clinical use as an anti-rheumatic medicine.
The focus of the collaboration with Domainex has been to develop novel organogold compounds with activity against Gram-negative bacteria and deliver a novel class of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Using their medicinal chemistry expertise, the teams at Domainex and Auspherix have explored the Structure-Activity-Relationships (SAR) of the two ligands coordinated to the central gold atom and have now demonstrated that the physicochemical properties of the phosphine ligand in particular are a key determinant of Gram-negative activity. Robust synthetic routes are now in place to enable the team to further explore the chemical space around this organogold chemical template.
Tom Mander, Chief Operating Officer of Domainex, said: “As far as we know, we are the only teams working on the challenging task of developing broad-spectrum antibiotics based on organogold chemistry. In our collaboration with Auspherix, we have made tremendous progress towards identifying novel pre-clinical drug candidates that address the growing global burden of multi-drug resistant bacterial infections.”
Dr Neil Miller, Auspherix CEO said “This has been a highly productive scientific collaboration with Domainex and I look forward to seeing the data generated with our lead compounds in rodent infection models as we move towards our goal of identifying a pre-clinical development candidate from one of our three lead series. We anticipate progressing into human clinical studies in 2019, with an initial focus on the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI).”
“Given that our organogold compounds retain activity against multi-drug resistant (MDR) clinical isolates and they show a low propensity for the emergence of resistance, they have great potential to address the greatest unmet medical need and treat patients suffering from life-threatening drug-resistant infections.” he added.
There is a well-defined clinical and regulatory path to approval for new antibiotic treatments for cUTIs with the opportunity to receive Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) designation, which offers fast-track status and priority review with the FDA, plus potentially five years’ additional market exclusivity, thus making our focus on cUTIs an attractive investment proposition.”
 ESKAPE pathogens encompasses the six pathogens with growing multidrug resistant virulence: Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter spp
Notes to Editors
Domainex Ltd. is a Cambridge-based, privately-owned small-molecule therapeutics company that provides integrated drug research services to global pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic partners. Its services cover a wide span of the drug research value chain, from disease target selection to pre-clinical candidate nomination.
Domainex's services include recombinant protein expression and use of its proprietary technology platform, Combinatorial Domain Hunting to identify soluble protein fragments for structural biology and assay development. Hit finding activities encompass assay development and screening by means of its BioassayBuilder, FragmentBuilder and LeadBuilder platforms. The core of the Domainex service offering is multi-parameter medicinal chemistry optimisation of hits and leads - using its ‘every compound counts’ philosophy, which can save up to 30% on the average industry time from target to candidate. For more information, please visit www.domainex.co.uk.
Auspherix Ltd. is an anti-infectives company engaged in the discovery and development of a new class of organogold-based antibiotics for serious and difficult to treat, or potentially life threatening infections.
Its new class of antibiotics demonstrate potent and broad-spectrum activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria including many Gram-negative multi-drug resistant (MDR) strains where there is a global rising unmet medical need and large market potential.
The Company is utilising its proprietary organogold chemistry platform to build a pipeline of novel antibacterials with an initial focus on treating complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI). Auspherix pipeline comprises three structurally distinct, small molecule lead series currently in pre-clinical development.
As a private company, Auspherix is backed by experienced investors including the Australian Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) and UK-based Touchstone Innovations plc (AIM IVO). The Company is located at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst facility, UK a world-leading hub for open innovation and centre for fast growing biotech, pharma and medtech businesses.For further information please visit www.auspherix.com. Follow us on twitter @auspherix and on LinkedIn.
For more information please contact:
Dr Tom Mander
T: +44 (0) 7584 578 024
Media Relations – Sciad Communications
T: +44 (0)7930 317 729
Dr Neil Miller
T: +44 (0)1438 906755
Media Relations - Instinctif Partners
Sue Charles / Gemma Harris
T: +44 (0)20 7457 2020