Quorum sensing data presented at the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference by Neem Biotech

Neem Biotech, the Welsh-based fundamental Research and Development arm of the Zaluvida group of life science companies, was pleased to present the work into development of a novel mode of action as an adjunct to existing antibiotics at the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference Indiana, USA from 2nd November 2017 to 4th of November 2017.  

In preclinical in vivo and in vitro studies, sensing inhibition mechanisms against Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. Potential to disrupt established bacterial biofilms has also been shown, as has a reduction both in the time required to clear bacterial burden and to reduce the amount of antibiotic necessary to clear an acute bacterial exacerbation in the presence of a chronic biofilm. Results have also alluded to reduction in the expression of virulence genes that are able to render the normally commensal bacteria pathogenic.

Quorum sensing refers to the chemical communication system used by bacteria to proliferate and protect themselves. Using chemical signalling, bacteria secrete an extracellular, often polymolecular sheath around themselves that serves to protect them from environmental stressors such as antibiotics and allows them to multiply.

This work holds significant promise for Neem to contribute to the global calls for development and implementation of an antimicrobial stewardship programme that will allow existing antibiotics to be optimised and spared and new and alternative antimicrobial measures to be generated.

With a novel mechanism of action, this discovery has potential to break down the biofilm barriers that chronic bacterial colonies have in situ, thereby increasing the effectiveness of antibiotics in the presence of these bacteria. This could reduce both the amount of antibiotic required to clear acute infections and the potential further development of antimicrobial resistance.

This has particular importance for respiratory infections in cystic fibrosis (CF). Bacterially-caused lung infections often become chronic at an early age in people with CF and, with currently available treatments, can be challenging to eradicate. P. aeruginosa lung infections continue to constitute the largest cause of death in adults with CF.

Dr Graham Dixon, Neem Biotech’s Chief Operating Officer and the person responsible for driving Neem Biotech’s clinical development programme forward, said:

This is groundbreaking work. We are looking forward to the on-going development journey to take these preclinical results into patients and towards the market. There is, without doubt, a need for this type of intervention to increase the length and quality of life for people with CF and their families”.

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