Most pharmaceutical companies have abandoned their antibiotic research in recent years resulting in a development pipeline which is almost empty. Infections with Gram-negative bacteria like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia or Acinetobacter baumannii thus represent an increasing threat to the healthcare system because many of these bacteria increasingly develop resistance to commonly used antibiotics.
Polyphor’s antibiotics research program has led to the discovery of a novel class of both selective and broad-band antibiotics.
The most advanced compound POL7080 is currently in clinical Phase I trials. POL7080 is highly selective and potent against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and hits a novel antibiotic target, an outer membrane protein.
In parallel, Polyphor advances its antibiotic program that aims to identify novel broad spectrum Gram-negative PEM antibiotics. Building on its expertise and insight into the role of outer membrane proteins for Gram-negative bacteria, like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Polyphor has established this drug discovery program in collaboration with Prof. John Robinson (University of Zurich, Switzerland). Polyphor employs advanced biochemical and genetic research technologies like photoaffinity labeling, membrane protein isolation and purification, as well as functional assays and in vitro microbiological screening. First results demonstrate the efficacy of this approach by leading to the identification of broad spectrum PEM antibiotic lead compounds. Polyphor has recently initiated the lead optimization phase as well as complementary experiments to further elucidate the role of outer membrane proteins in the mechanisms of these broad spectrum antibiotics.