PolyMedix, Inc. (OTC BB: PYMX), an emerging biotechnology company focused on developing new therapeutic drugs to treat acute cardiovascular disorders and infectious diseases, has received a Phase 2 grant in the amount of $986,000 from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to support the development of defensin mimetic antimicrobial compounds for the treatment of oral candidiasis. This grant will fund this research project through August 31, 2012. This award represents the 14th grant or research contract received to date by PolyMedix.
“Oral Candidiasis is a common infection of the oral cavity caused by an overgrowth of the yeast fungus, Candida”
This is the second grant received from the NIH for the treatment of oral candidiasis. Under the first portion of this grant, which was awarded in 2008, PolyMedix identified several small molecule defensin mimetic compounds with activity against Candida. The primary goal of this grant is to determine the optimal compounds and conditions under which PolyMedix's defensin mimetic antimicrobials can be applied to oral mucosa in order to efficiently clear an oral Candida infection. The goal of this phase is to provide a development lead candidate for further development as a topical treatment for oral candidiasis. Working with PolyMedix on this grant is Gill Diamond, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Oral Biology at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
"Oral Candidiasis is a common infection of the oral cavity caused by an overgrowth of the yeast fungus, Candida," commented Richard Scott, Ph.D., Vice President for Research at PolyMedix. "We believe our small molecule defensin mimetic compounds represent a novel approach to developing new agents to treat these painful and sometimes life-threatening infections, with the important advantage of limited opportunity for the development of resistance. Several of our defensin-mimetic antimicrobial compounds have demonstrated promising activity against fungal strains that often cause human infectious diseases and are resistant to existing anti-fungal agents. With this funding from the NIH we are able to continue our research in developing a compound to potentially address this major medical need."
PolyMedix's small molecule defensin-mimetic antimicrobial compounds are designed to mimic human host defense proteins, the body's natural defense against bacterial infections. Host defense proteins use a simple, but effective method for killing bacteria and other microbes by targeting the microbial membranes and disrupting them. This mechanism of action makes it difficult for resistance to develop.
PolyMedix's lead small molecule defensin-mimetic antibiotic compound is PMX-30063. PolyMedix has recently initiated a Phase 2 clinical trial in Canada to evaluate the safety and efficacy of PMX-30063 in patients as an initial treatment for Acute Bacterial Skin and Skin Structure Infections (ABSSSI) caused by Staph. Results from two Phase 1 studies demonstrated that PMX-30063 could be safely administered in single or divided IV doses, at levels that exceeded theoretical efficacious levels predicted by animal models. In addition, PMX-30063 killed Staph bacteria, including MRSA, in human serum in blood samples drawn from subjects in the study.