|[February 26, 2013]
Xellia Enters 4 Year Collaboration to Develop New Antibiotics to Combat Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria
OSLO & COPENHAGEN --(Business Wire)--
Xellia Pharmaceuticals, a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical
company focusing on the global anti-infective market, announced today
that it is developing new antibiotics effective against multi-drug
resistant (MDR), Gram-negative bacteria.
This four year development project at Xellia is a collaboration with
SINTEF Materials and Chemistry (Trondheim) and the Statens Serum
Institut (Copenhagen). The project is being supported by a $3 million
grant from the Research Council of Norway (NFR). The project also
includes contributions from laboratories across Europe.
Xellia is aiming to develop new antibiotics that target Gram-negative
bacterial infections, caused by, for example Pseudomonas, Klebsiella,
Acinetobacter and Enterobacter species. Severe sepsis and
septic shock due to such infections take up to 135,000 lives each year
in Europe and 215,000 in USA.
Resistance to existing antibiotics has become a major healthcare issue
worldwide. In the EU alone, infections due to serious hospital-based MDR
infections have been reported to cost between EUR 28,500 (in hospital
units and ICUs) and EUR 70,100 (in MDR ICUs) per surviving patient.
Recently, pan-drug resistant (PDR) and even so-called extensively drug
resistant (XDR) Gram-negative bacteria have started to appear, taking
the treatment situation to a critical point. The lack of novel
antibiotics is significantly compromising the surival and recovery of
patients suffering from these infections. At present, only two
antibiotic subclasses are still available to treat XDR infections,
polymyxins and tigecycline.
Last-line polymyxin drugs such as polymyxin B and colistin have been
used for 60-70 years without developing a significant resistance.
However, these antibiotics are known to exhibit elevated nephrotoxicity
(affecting kidney function) and are, therefore, not ideal for systemic
treatment of XDR-infections.
VP R&D of Xellia, Dr. Aleksandar Danilovski, 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." He added, "The
SINTEF and Statens Serum Institut research groups are specialists in
fermentation development and drug testing. Combined with the drug
development expertise of the Xellia team, this collaboration represents
a highly competent task force in the battle against bacterial infection."
Carl-Åke Carlsson, CEO of Xellia, added, "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. As these
development activities progress, we would intend to seek a partnership
with a larger pharma company to expedite the development and
commercialisation of these drugs for the benefit of patients."
- Ends -
Xellia (former Alpharma division) is a fully integrated specialty
pharmaceutical company focusing on the global anti-infective market,
with over 100 years expertise in supplying fermented and semi-synthetic,
active pharmaceutical ingredients and finished dose products employed in
life saving therapies against serious infections. The Company has
growing sales in more than 70 countries to over 700 customers across the
healthcare industry. In particular, Xellia is the world leading supplier
of Vancomycin and CMS which together combat life-threatening,
antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections across Gram-positive and
Gram-negative species. Further information can be obtained at the
Company's website: www.xellia.com.
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