Speeding up the response to pandemics and creating new treatments to tackle the increasing global threat of drug resistance are the main focus areas in Platform Two. The work is led by Infex Therapeutics and provides a subsidised, cost- effective mechanism to accelerate the progress of novel therapies.
Infex, based at Alderley Park in Cheshire, has a range of projects in advanced stages of development. Its lead clinical candidate is RESP-X, a novel humanised monoclonal antibody. RESP-X is designed to help the body tackle Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) infection, a hard-to-treat drug-resistant pathogen which causes chronic and debilitating respiratory disease. No approved treatments currently exist. RESP-X does not kill the bacteria directly but deactivates one of its critical mechanisms, enabling the immune system to clear the infection.
The iiCON-backed project has progressed to a Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers, which are being conducted by another iiCON partner, National Institute for Health and Care Research Liverpool and Broadgreen Clinical Research Facility, part of the Liverpool University Foundation Hospital Trust.
Dr Peter Jackson, Executive Director of Infex Therapeutics, said: “RESP-X has huge potential to improve the outcomes for patients suffering from this debilitating disease. The Phase 1a study assesses the safety and tolerability of RESP-X in a cohort of healthy volunteers and will inform the dosing in the later Phase 1b trial with patients. RESP-X has huge potential to improve the outcomes for millions of patients worldwide.”
Infex is also set to put a second program into clinic – MET-X, which targets urinary tract infections caused by WHO critical-priority resistant Gram-negative bacteria. MET-X is a novel therapy designed to help restore the function of antibiotics that have become ineffective because of drug resistance created by the spread of MBL enzymes.
Professor Janet Hemingway: “The Infex team is tacking head-on areas of unmet clinical need and producing exciting science and novel therapies that could make a huge difference to patients.”
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Dr Lindsay was a co-founder of Redx Pharma and its Chief Operating Officer from 2012-17. His former roles include being a Director of Innovation of pharmaceutical industry consortium Britest Ltd from 2006 to 2012, and R&D Director of Avecia Pharmaceutical Products in a management career of more than 30 years. Derek has worked in R&D, Process Development and Hazards at Avecia and its predecessor businesses, Zeneca and ICI, which he joined in 1988, after initially working in R&D at BP from 1985.