Safer Drugs By Design

Project Portfolio

The Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge

The growing occurrence of multiple drug resistance (MDR), highlighted by recent high profile reviews by O’Neill and the Pew Trust, has created an urgent need for new antimicrobial agents. The majority of the world’s bacteria have developed some resistance to antibiotics, so healthcare professionals are now having to use the “last resort” drugs more often.

The overuse of antibiotics across both human health and farming, has led to bacteria developing resistance to them and of most concern is the emergence of bacterial strains that demonstrate resistance to many or even all antibiotics: the multi-drug resistant (MDR) strains. Few new antibiotics have been developed in the last 30 years, due to the scientific challenge associated with bacterial resistance and the potentially lower financial returns in this area.

Thus, there is now a clear requirement for new antimicrobial agents to treat combat bacteria, with new approaches to treat Gram negative infections in urgent demand.

The EligoChem Portfolio

The EligoChem portfolio consists of a diverse range of discovery-stage projects targeting both multi-drug resistant Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Our approaches cover both small-molecules and peptides designed to target serious MDR infections caused by E. coli, N. gonorrhoeae, P. aeruginosa, A. baumanii and S. pneumoniae.

ELIGO-3233 is an anti-microbial peptide which has activity against Gram negative pathogens P. aeruginosa and A. baumanii, and has been demonstrated to be effective in animal infection models. This class of compounds typically possess a low frequency of resistance and have high metabolic and chemical stability. The lead compound is expected to begin pre-clinical development in 2018 and Phase I studies are anticipated in 2019.

This project is being supported by CARB-X.

DNA synthesis target. This small molecule approach to inhibit DNA synthesis in bacteria uses the proprietary EligoChem technology to optimise drug absorption and safety of the current lead compounds. Such DNA synthesis inhibitors are known to have a very low frequency of resistance so are attractive targets as potential new antibiotics. The compounds have demonstrated bacterial activity against a range of Gram Positive bacteria and in Gram negative bacteria such as N. gonorrhoeae, and as such have a wide therapeutic potential.

EligoChem also have two early stage projects that target bacterial Cell wall and Lipid synthesis.