Advanced Life Sciences Holdings, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ADLS), a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of novel drugs in the therapeutic areas of infection, oncology and respiratory diseases, today announced that the Company has entered into a sponsored research and option agreement with The University of British Columbia (UBC) to develop several antimicrobial peptides. These peptides exhibit bactericidal properties and kill both Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms rapidly and directly. They have shown activity against clinically important resistant bacteria, such as vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), a pathogen that is most commonly acquired by patients while hospitalized, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Also, these peptides are expected to have significant activity against biodefense pathogens such as Bacillus anthracis.
Under the terms of the agreement with UBC, Advanced Life Sciences paid an option fee upon execution of the agreement and will make additional payments based on the completion of specific milestones. In return, UBC granted to Advanced Life Sciences the exclusive option to evaluate the technology and obtain a worldwide, exclusive license to manufacture, distribute and market products emanating from the program.
"We believe this program will nicely complement our internal antibiotic R&D platform and advances our strategy to expand our research efforts into the development of novel antibiotics to address unmet medical needs in treating clinically important infections caused by Gram-negative pathogens," said Michael T. Flavin, Ph.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Advanced Life Sciences. "We are pleased to be working with The University of British Columbia and Dr. Robert Hancock, Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UBC, who is a leader in the field of peptide antibiotics and has a history of conducting innovative and highly regarded antimicrobial research. He works closely with the innovative Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) on the formulation and preclinical development. In fact, Dr. Hancock has recently been invited as a speaker at the July 26th FDA workshop focused on antibiotic resistance."
Clinically Important Bacteria
The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) continues to view with concern the lean pipeline for novel therapeutics to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections, especially those caused by Gram-negative pathogens. The so-called "ESKAPE" pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumanii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter species) are super bugs in the 21st century. Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show rapidly increasing rates of infection due to methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant E. faecium (VRE) and fluoroquinolone-resistant P. aeruginosa. More people now die of MRSA infection in US hospitals than of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined. Several highly resistant Gram-negative pathogens, including Acinetobacter species, multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa and carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella species and Escherichia coli, are emerging as significant pathogens in both the US and other parts of the world. IDSA has recently launched a 10 x '20 initiative to champion a sustainable global antibacterial drug R&D with the power to develop 10 new, safe and effective antibiotics by the year 2020.
Advanced Life Sciences Holdings, Inc.