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Destiny Pharma awarded grant to fund a research collaboration with the University of Sheffield targeting ophthalmic bacterial and fungal infections

Collaboration to investigate antimicrobial candidates from the company’s XF drug platform against microbial infections of the eye 

Marks the fourth research grant Destiny Pharma has received in the past two years

Brighton, United Kingdom – 10 September 2019 – Destiny Pharma plc (AIM: DEST), a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of novel antimicrobial drugs to address the global crisis caused by antimicrobial resistance (AMR), today announces it has been jointly awarded a National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) grant to fund a research collaboration with the Sheffield Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance and Biofilms at the University of Sheffield. The project aims to establish the potential of two of the Company’s proprietary XF drug compounds, DPD-207 and XF-73, as novel treatments for drug-resistant, bacterial and fungal infections in a dynamic ex vivo eye model. NBIC’s stated aim is to establish a network of research and innovation capacity catalysing collaboration with industry in the study of biofilms to achieve breakthrough and innovation. Financial terms of the collaboration have not been disclosed.

Drug resistant bacteria and fungi pose a significant threat across a range of ophthalmic infections and can result in vision impairment and blindness. Many chronic eye infections, such as bacterial keratitis and lacrimal/periorbital infections, are caused by microbes aggregating to form a biofilm. These biofilms are difficult to treat with conventional antibiotics, a problem which is exacerbated by the rise of AMR. Destiny Pharma’s XF drugs have already demonstrated efficacy in killing bacteria located in biofilms in early clinical studies.

The global ophthalmic drugs market size is currently valued at approximately $30 billion. A significant proportion of this market is therapeutics for ocular infections, which the Company estimates to be worth over $1 billion.

Neil Clark, Chief Executive Officer of Destiny Pharma, added:

We are excited to collaborate with the expert team at the University of Sheffield as we look to initiate our second research project in biofilms supported by the National Biofilms Innovation Centre. The project will explore the utility of our novel XF drug platform in the treatment of eye infections involving biofilms. Biofilms represent a significant barrier to antimicrobial treatment and this collaboration may help us identify additional clinical candidates for ocular indications in a billion-dollar market that are safe, effective and with a significantly reduced level of antimicrobial resistance. The project in part will further explore the potential of our lead drug, XF-73, which is also currently in Phase IIb clinical development for the prevention of post-surgical infections.”

Professor Peter Monk, Professor in the Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease at Sheffield University Medical School, commented:

The Sheffield Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance and Biofilms (SCARAB) was established in 2017 using funding from Innovate UK to support the development of new antimicrobial agents to treat severe infections. The partnership with NBIC and Destiny Pharma allows us to test new compounds against biofilms growing in living tissues.


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Last Updated: 16-Sep-2019