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7 August, 2018 - 12:28 By Kate Sweeney

Phico Therapeutics wins Innovate UK £1.4m for antibiotic technology

Phico Therapeutics in Cambridge, which is developing a novel platform technology as the basis of a new generation of antibiotics to overcome antibacterial resistance, has won significant funding to accelerate its work.

Innovate UK will provide £1.4 million to support the manufacturing development of Phico’s intravenous antibiotic, SASPject PT3.8 to tackle the genetic cause of antibiotic resistance.

The project will be undertaken in partnership with The Clinical Trial Company and GE Healthcare.

Phico is developing SASPject PT3.8, to treat patients with serious Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections, which have a high mortality rate. P. aeruginosa causes a wide range of infections, most frequently in hospitals, and is very difficult to treat.

This is due to the organism’s/bacteria’s intrinsic antibiotic resistance mechanisms, including an impermeable cell membrane and efflux pumps, which can remove antibiotics that do enter the cell. 

As clinical trials are expanded, it is anticipated that the product will also be used in situations where a P. aeruginosa infection is suspected but yet to be confirmed, further extending the market opportunity for SASPject PT3.8. 

Dr Heather Fairhead, CEO at Phico, said: “Our goal is to advance the science of antibacterial therapy to help overcome the global problem of bacterial resistance. 

“This non-dilutive funding from Innovate UK is an important validation of our platform and will enable us to take our lead product towards testing in humans.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Dr Heather Fairhead

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