13 April 2018

Polyphor successfully completes Wellcome Trust collaboration for development of novel antibiotics against multi-drug resistant Gram-negative pathogens


Final milestone reached ahead of schedule triggering payment of a CHF 0.97M convertible loan amount

Polyphor today announced that it has successfully completed its Wellcome Trust collaboration which supported the development of novel Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotics (OMPTA) addressing the most resistant Gram-negative bacterial pathogens including those designated as a critical concern by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The final milestone was the selection of a pre-clinical candidate series meeting a set of pre-defined criteria and was achieved ahead of schedule. Reaching the milestone led to the payment of the final tranche of CHF 0.97M of the aggregate loan amount of CHF 2.3M under the convertible loan (Seeding Drug Discovery Award) first announced in February 2017.

The novel antibiotics target the most important Gram-negative ESKAPE[1] pathogens, (Kleb­siella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter spp) which are the leading cause of severe and often deadly infections throughout the world, such as bloodstream infections and pneumonia. Importantly, this new class of antibiotics is active both in vitro and in vivo against strains which have become resistant to most – and in some cases all – commonly used antibiotics including the “last resort” antibiotic colistin.

“Our OMPTAs are potentially the first new class of antibiotics against Gram-negative bacteria in 50 years,” “The first product of this class, the Pseudomonas selective drug murepavadin, is now in a global Phase III program. The support of the Wellcome Trust has been very important for us, accelerating the development of the next generation of OMPTA compounds. We believe their novel mechanism of action, targeting the outer membrane proteins of Gram-negative bacteria, provides for the potential to develop highly effective antibiotics against which pathogens may only slowly build resistance.”

Daniel Obrecht

CSO and co-founder of Polyphor

For further information please contact:

Franziska Daabour


Polyphor Ltd.

Tel: +41 61 567 16 00

Email: PR@polyphor.com


For Investors:

Kalina Scott

Chief Financial Officer

Polyphor Ltd.

Tel: +41 61 567 16 67

Email: PR@polyphor.com

About Polyphor

Polyphor is a clinical stage, privately held Swiss specialty pharma company which has discovered and is developing the OMPTA (Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotics). The OMPTA are potentially the first new class of antibiotics against Gram-negative bacteria in the last 50 years. The company’s lead product, murepavadin, (POL7080) is in Phase III development against Pseudo­monas aeruginosa – recognized as a critical priority 1 pathogen by WHO. Polyphor is also deve­lop­­ing an immuno-oncology candidate, balixafortide (POL6326), which has achieved clinical proof of concept in a Phase Ib/proof of concept study in combination with eribulin in patients with ad­vanced breast cancer, and a pipeline of further preclinical antibiotics based on its OMPTA platform. Polyphor is based in Allschwil near Basel. For more information, please visit www.polyphor.com.


[1]The so-called ESKAPE pathogens include most important bacterial pathogens, the Gram-negative, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter spp and the Gram-positive pathogens Enterococcus faecium and Staphilococcus aereus

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