September 29, 2014 / 8:06 AM / 5 years ago

Atox Bio gets contract to develop flesh-eating bacteria treatment

TEL AVIV, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Israel-based Atox Bio, a developer of therapeutics for severe infections, said on Monday it won a contract worth up to $24 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

The contract is for the development of AB103 to treat necrotising soft tissue infections (NSTI), commonly referred to as “flesh eating bacteria”, and potentially, infections caused by biothreats and public health threats that end in sepsis.

BARDA awarded the contract to Atox Bio for $4.4 million over 18 months. Option periods, if exercised by BARDA, would bring the total to $24 million. The contract covers manufacturing, regulatory activities and a clinical trial.

AB103, an immunomodulator licensed from Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is a peptide that offers a unique approach in treating infectious diseases by modulating, but not inhibiting, the host immune system, the company said.

AB103 completed a Phase 2 study in patients with NSTI which are rare, fast progressing infections that result in significant tissue destruction and systemic disease leading to multiple organ dysfunctions.

Patients treated with AB103 had a faster resolution of organ dysfunction, spent fewer days in intensive care, required fewer days of assisted ventilation and needed fewer surgical procedures to remove infected tissue, Atox Bio said.

The BARDA contract follows $23 million in financing that Atox Bio raised earlier in the year from SR One, the healthcare venture capital fund of GlaxoSmithKline, Lundbeck’s Lundbeckfond Ventures and OrbiMed Israel. (Reporting by Tova Cohen)

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