National Science Foundation supports PolyMedix with $150,000 grant for development of antimicrobial sutures

PolyMedix, Inc. (OTC BB: PYMX), an emerging biotechnology company focused on developing new therapeutic drugs to treat serious acute cardiovascular disorders and infectious diseases, has received a grant in the amount of $150,000 from the National Science Foundation to support the development of antimicrobial sutures. PolyMedix has developed a series of novel antimicrobial polymers for device and material applications, which it collectively calls the PolyCides™. This grant will focus on one class of PolyCides that appears to be well-suited for development as an active agent in antimicrobial sutures. The grant commences on July 1, 2010 and supports six months of research.

“We are delighted to receive our first grant from the National Science Foundation, which also represents our 12th grant or research contract received to date”

The primary goal of the grant is to develop antimicrobial sutures that have broad antimicrobial activity against pathogens associated with surgical site infections (SSIs), and are less likely to develop resistance because of the unique mechanism of action of the PolyCide polymer materials. The development of improved antimicrobial sutures could be an important addition to the comprehensive effort to reduce SSIs. SSIs are the third most common hospital-acquired infection, and may be associated with severe morbidity and mortality. Since more than 60% of SSIs are in the area of the incision, the use of sutures coated with an antibacterial agent may reduce infection rates.

The PolyCide polymers, like PolyMedix's novel defensin-mimetic compounds, including its lead systemic antibiotic drug PMX-30063, are synthetic mimetics of the host-defense proteins, one of the oldest and most effective antimicrobial defense systems found in humans and virtually all living creatures. These compounds have a novel mechanism of action that directly disrupts the bacterial cell membranes, which we believe makes development of bacterial resistance unlikely to occur. The PolyCide polymers, including those to be studied under this grant, have distinct chemical structures which differ from those of PMX-30063 or other agents which may be studied for human therapeutic applications.

"We are delighted to receive our first grant from the National Science Foundation, which also represents our 12th grant or research contract received to date," commented Nicholas Landekic, President and C.E.O. of PolyMedix. "We greatly appreciate the National Science Foundation's recognition of the significance of our novel antimicrobial compounds and unique technology by awarding us this grant. This award will provide the opportunity to further develop the medical device applications of our defensin-mimetic technology, which could provide clinicians with important additional weapons in the fight against surgical site infections."

If successful, PolyMedix hopes to apply this technology to other wound closure applications to augment infection control. Furthermore, PolyMedix hopes to expand this technology to improve infection control with other medical devices and surfaces, potentially including catheters and implants, where infections may occur and which can lead to removal of the device.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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