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11 January, 2018 - 10:33 By Kate Sweeney

Innovate UK backs Bicycle to create next-gen antibiotics

Cambridge medical innovator Bicycle Therapeutics has earned unspecified funding from Innovate UK to produce next generation antibiotics to combat increasingly resistant bacteria.

Former GSK man, Dr Mike Dawson, who has extensive experience in the field, will lead the initiative for Bicycle.

Bicycles are a new therapeutic modality that combine high affinity and exquisite selectivity in a chemically synthesised format. The Innovate UK funding will be used to develop Bicycles with unique properties and novel mechanisms of anti-bacterial action.

Dr Dawson, former CEO of Cantab Anti-Infectives, is a seasoned industry expert with 30 years of expertise in infectious disease drug discovery and development. He spent 20 years at GSK, where he led the natural product chemistry and biotransformations programmes contributing to the development of three marketed antiviral agents as well as multiple clinical stage antibacterials and antifungals.

Subsequently he co-founded Novacta Biosystems, where he led the NVB302 programme from concept to clinic for C. difficile infection.

Bicycle’s CEO Kevin Lee said: “This competitive and peer-reviewed award builds on our strategy to explore the utility for bicycles beyond oncology using non-dilutive funding. 

“It also provides further validation of the versatility of the Bicycle platform and its broad potential for application across all therapy areas, including anti-bacterials.

“Bicycles are structurally highly similar to many commonly prescribed natural product cyclic peptide antibiotics. Our enormously diverse compound library and highly efficient optimised screening approach will allow us to generate next generation antibiotics.

“We are grateful to Innovate UK for their vote of confidence and are looking forward to working with Mike Dawson to advance a much-needed novel approach in this extremely important area of research.”

Dr Dawson added: “New anti-infective products are desperately needed to combat the rapidly growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, an area of critical unmet medical need. 

“The antibiotics field has seen little innovation in recent years with just three new classes of antibiotics introduced during the past 40 years. I am delighted to be collaborating with Bicycle to advance this exciting work. The funding from Innovate UK will enable our team to make important progress in advancing a truly innovative, and potentially transformative, approach to treating infectious diseases.”


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