Wellcome Trust supports Polyphor and Neurotune

Polyphor received a first 0.6 mCHF milestone payment from the Wellcome Trust under a Seeding Drug Discovery Award of total up to 2.3 mCHF granted in February 2017. Neurotune was selected for a Wellcome Trust Pathfinder Award.

Polyphor has achieved a first milestone from Wellcome Trust for the development of novel antibiotics against Gram-negative multidrug – resistant pathogens ahead of schedule. Before the milestone, the company already received an upfront payment of 0.7 mCHF.

Lead candidates have shown excellent activity in vitro and in vivo against a wide panel of Gram-negative pathogens including multidrug-resistant strains. Activity was also shown against bacteria resistant to colistin, a drug often used as a “last resort” antibiotic. In addition, the rate of resistance development observed is very low compared to standard antibiotics.

Daniel Obrecht, CSO of Polyphor, said: “Reaching this milestone in our collaboration with the Wellcome Trust is a major step in our joint efforts to develop alternative treatments for serious and life-threatening infections. This milestone is yet another validation of our breakthrough antibiotic research which already resulted in Murepavadin, a precision antibiotic for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, now entering Phase III studies. We are grateful that the Wellcome Trust supports our program to advance drug candidates to the clinic expeditiously.”

Pathfinder Award for Polyphor
Neurotune AG, a Swiss biotech company, has developed a modified form of agrin (NT-1654) which plays in important role in the development and maintenance of the neuromuscular junction. Through a Pathfinder Award, Professor Lochmüller and colleagues at Newcastle University will test the effect of NT-1654 in mouse models of human CMS and in a mouse model of hereditary motor neuropathy. The team aim to provide evidence that NT-1654 improves neuromuscular transmission in these mouse models and to identify the pharmacokinetic properties and molecular mechanisms of this improvement, thus providing further evidence for its use as a therapeutic reagent in clinical trials.

About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. It is a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. The Wellcome Trust support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate.