UK CRO Selcia has been contracted to develop antibiotics capable of tacking resistant superbugs by Cantab Anti-Infectives.
The deal – financial terms of which were not disclosed – will see Selcia will provide medicinal chemistry services to further the development of Cantab’s range of Polymyxin-based antibiotics.
Polymyxins are compounds composed of a cyclic peptide and a hydrophobic tail that can disrupt the lipopolysaccharide molecules that surround gram negative bacteria.
Antibiotics-based on Polymyxins are used as a ‘last resort’ against resistant bacteria, however their toxicity and complex pharmacokinetic profiles makes it difficult to determine the most effective dosages, hence the need to develop improved verisons.
Selcia’s role in this process will be to generate a range of polymyxin-based compounds to continue the optimisation of antibacterial activity against resistant strains in vitro and to optimise the most promising of these compounds.
Cantab CEO Mike Dawson said: “When we wanted to complement our internal medicinal chemistry efforts we identified Selcia as our partner of choice for this project as it has a highly successful track-record working on complex medicinal chemistry projects and identifying development candidates from challenging starting points.”
Cantab Anti-Infectives, which is a unit of private equity backed Cantab Biopharmaceuticals, was one of several firms to receive funding from the UK’s Biomedical Catalyst Fund programme in July.