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Destiny Pharma awarded grant to fund collaboration with Cardiff University targeting fungal infections

Collaboration will test antimicrobial candidates from the Company’s XF drug platform against oral fungal infections.


Brighton, United Kingdom – 9 June 2020 – Destiny Pharma plc (AIM: DEST), a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of novel, hospital infection prevention treatments that address the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), today announces it has been jointly awarded a National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) grant to fund a research collaboration with Cardiff University. The project will establish the potential of three of the Company’s proprietary XF drug compounds, DPD‑207, XF-70 and XF-73 as novel treatments for clinically important fungal infections in mucosal mouth models of disease. Financial terms of the collaboration have not been disclosed.


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

We are very pleased to collaborate with the expert team at Cardiff University supported by NBIC. Our XF drugs have already shown activity against bacteria packed in biofilm communities that represent a significant barrier to antimicrobial treatments. This new collaboration may help us identify additional clinical candidates from our XF platform for oral indications related to biofilms in a billion-dollar market. This is also our first research project targeting fungal infections and joins our other four existing research collaborations funded by approximately £2m of grant awards. The project will explore further the potential of our lead drug, XF-73 that is currently in a phase 2b study,  evaluating its potential for the prevention of post-surgical infections.”


Professor David Williams, Professor in the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences at Cardiff University School of Dentistry commented:

“Oral candidoses are prevalent and frequently recurrent infections that typically manifest in debilitated individuals. Given the limited number of antifungal agents and the increasing level of resistance exhibited by Candida species, it is essential that new and effective antifungals are developed. My research team in the School of Dentistry at Cardiff University, are delighted to receive the support of the National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) which facilitates this exciting collaboration with Destiny Pharma in the investigation their XF drug platform for combatting Candida biofilms”.


Oral fungal biofilms are responsible for a significant number of serious oral infections, but successful treatment is hindered by biofilm resistance and a limited number of effective antifungal drugs. This project will evaluate the XF drug candidates in combatting Candida biofilms and their infection risk using Cardiff’s specialised oral mucosal models.


Oral candidosis occurs in an estimated 2 million people worldwide including approximately ~90% of HIV/AIDS patients, people taking inhaled steroids for asthma, head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy and some leukaemia and transplant patients. Candida infection of the oesophagus affects an estimated ~1.3 million people and the global oral candidosis market is expected to reach US$ 9.5 billion by 2023.1


NBIC’s stated aim is to establish a network of research and innovation capacity catalysing collaborations with industry in the study of biofilms to achieve breakthrough innovation. This is the third grant award from NBIC that Destiny Pharma has received.

About Destiny Pharma

Destiny Pharma is an established, clinical stage, innovative biotechnology company focused on the development of novel medicines from its XF Platform that represent a new approach to the treatment of infectious disease. The company’s lead programme is undergoing a Phase 2b clinical trial and is targeting the prevention of post-surgical hospital infections including MRSA. The XF drug candidates  are being developed for the prevention and treatment of life-threatening infections caused by antibiotic‑resistant bacteria, often referred to as “superbugs”. Tackling anti-microbial resistance has become a global imperative recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations, as well as the G7 and the G20 countries. For further information, please visit


About The National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC)

NBIC is an Innovation Knowledge Centre (IKC) jointly funded by the BBSRC, Innovate UK, and the Hartree Centre. NBIC aims to connect scientists specialising in Biofilms across the UK, and to provide a mechanism for industrial partners to explore their unmet needs with our researchers. With road mapping sessions and conferences, NBIC aims to facilitate the exchange of problems, solutions and ideas in the biofilms sector. Through PhD and Post-Doc programs, NBIC nurtures researchers to grow their expertise. NBIC also provides entrepreneur training to its researchers to help them better understand the commercial environment and to encourage the start-up of Micro and SME businesses.

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Last Updated: 11-Jun-2020