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The companies will develop Amprologix’s lead epidermicin-based antibiotic candidate.
On Feb. 5, 2019, Ingenza, a UK-based biotech company specializing in industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology, announced that Amprologix, a UK start-up antibiotics firm spun-out from the University of Plymouth, has been awarded a £1.2-million (EUR 1.4-million, US$1.6-million) contract from the UK Department of Health and Social Care to accelerate the development and scale-up of its lead antibiotic candidate, Epidermicin NI01. The funding will be administered by Innovate UK and is intended to advance Epidermicin NI01, which is part of a new family of epidermicin-based antibiotics. The candidate will be ready for Phase I clinical trials by early 2021.
Established in 2018, Amprologix, in which Ingenza has a stake, was created to develop and commercialize the work of Mathew Upton, Amprologix chief scientific officer and professor of medical microbiology at the University of Plymouth. Epidermicins are a new class of antibiotics capable of tackling methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and related superbugs at very low doses, relying on Ingenza’s biologics manufacturing platform to enable viable production at scale, according to the company. With this funding, Amprologix will optimize the formulation of Epidermicin NI01 as a cream to decolonize the nasal cavity of MRSA-thereby preventing spread and infection-as well as conducting a preclinical toxicology evaluation.
“Epidermicin has excellent potential for use in nasal decolonization to prevent skin and wound infections, like those caused by MRSA. Development of NI01 could have immense benefits for patients, so I’m genuinely excited about this work and generating the data needed to enter Phase I trials,” said Upton in a company press release.