Selcia and Cantab announce drug discovery collaboration

To develop improved antibiotics for multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections

Selcia, a contract research organisation based in Ongar, Essex, UK, has entered into a drug discovery collaboration with Cantab Anti-Infectives in Cambridge, UK to develop improved antibiotics for multidrug resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections based on the polymyxin nucleus. Cantab has recently been awarded a grant of £2.3m from the Biomedical Catalyst Fund to continue its research in this area.

Polymyxins have become an important ‘last resort’ therapy for certain MDR Gram-negative infections, but suffer from complex pharmacokinetics and dose-limiting toxicities, which often lead to sub-optimal therapy. Polymyxins are the only effective antibiotic to act specifically on the lipopolysaccharide of Gram-negative bacteria and, given the rise of problem infections with such bacteria, Cantab Anti-infectives says it is timely to harness this mechanism of action into improved antibiotics.

Selcia will provide medicinal chemistry resource to: generate a range of polymyxin-based entities to continue the optimisation of antibacterial activity against MDR strains in vitro.

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