Destiny Pharma plc
(“Destiny Pharma” or “the Company”)
Destiny Pharma announces research collaboration with the University of Southampton targeting infections in diabetic foot ulcers and cystic fibrosis
Collaboration to investigate potential antimicrobial candidates from the Company’s XF drug platform against infections associated with biofilms
Brighton, United Kingdom – 1 November 2018 – Destiny Pharma (AIM: DEST), a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of novel antimicrobial drugs, that addresses the global problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), today announces it has been jointly awarded a National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) funded research collaboration with the University of Southampton. The project is intended to examine the use of the Company’s novel XF compounds to prevent, control, and eradicate chronic clinical infections with underlying biofilm involvement, such as those in diabetic foot ulcers and cystic fibrosis.
There is a significant unmet medical need in both the treatment and management of biofilms which can cause and exacerbate serious infections. Destiny Pharma’s XF compounds have already shown the potential to eradicate bacteria, such as MRSA, within a biofilm. The NBIC funded collaboration plans to expand on this data using laboratory and clinical microbial biofilm models and the expertise of the team at the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences, who have established ex vivo biofilm model systems and access to clinical infection samples that will be utilised in the collaboration. Financial terms of the collaboration have not been disclosed.
Professor Jeremy Webb, Co-Director of National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC), commented:
“Destiny Pharma’s XF series show exciting promise and activity against bacterial biofilms. The NBIC funding will be used to accelerate the development of these compounds using clinically relevant biofilm models for chronic wound infections, including diabetic foot ulcers and within cystic fibrosis respiratory infection, to fill an important need in the treatment of antibiotic tolerant infections.”
Neil Clark, Chief Executive Officer of Destiny Pharma, added:
“We are excited to collaborate with the expert team at the University of Southampton. The collaboration will further explore the utility of our XF drug platform in the treatment of infections involving biofilms, especially in relation to diabetic foot ulcers and cystic fibrosis. As we have previously commented, biofilms represent a significant barrier to antimicrobial treatment and this collaboration may help us identify additional clinical candidates that are safe, effective and with a significantly reduced level of antimicrobial resistance.”
Biofilms are recognised as a key factor in the inability of antibiotics (and other antibacterial agents) to successfully treat infections. The formation of bacterial biofilms is implicated in the development of cystic fibrosis pneumonia, diabetic foot ulcers, dental caries and infections associated with indwelling medical devices, (e.g. hip implants and catheters). In the US, 1.7 million biofilm-related infections, (e.g. urinary tract, surgical, respiratory and circulatory infections) are annually reported (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Report, 2007). The annual estimation of the cost of biofilm infections in the US is $94 billion, while annual biofilm-related healthcare-associated infections cost the NHS £1 billion p.a.
For further information, please contact:
Destiny Pharma plc
Neil Clark, CEO
Shaun Claydon, CFO
+44 (0)1273 704 440
National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC)
Razwana Quadir, Communications Manager
+44 (0)23 8059 4446
University of Southampton
Press and Public Relations
+44 (0)23 8059 3212
Simon Conway / Victoria Foster Mitchell
+44 (0) 20 3727 1000
Cantor Fitzgerald Europe (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)
Philip Davies / Will Goode, Corporate Finance
Andrew Keith, Healthcare Equity Sales
+44 (0)20 7894 7000
finnCap Ltd (Joint Broker)
Geoff Nash /Kate Bannatyne, Corporate Finance
Alice Lane, Corporate Broking
+44 (0)20 7220 0500
XF-73 is a synthetic anti-microbial active against all tested Staphylococcus aureus strains, including drug resistant strains. By acting via a cell-surface mechanism it affects the bacterial membrane permeability and integrity, leading to cell death. XF-73 has already been through five successful Phase I/IIb clinical trials showing rapid antibacterial action.
XF-73 is indicated for the prevention of post-surgical staphylococcal infections. In the US, there are approximately 40 million surgeries per annum alone where the patient is at risk of a post-surgical infection. However, within this large population there are particular groups who are at an even higher risk of infection due to the nature of their surgery or the procedures and/or their specific hospital environment in which they are treated. These higher risk surgical procedures include cardiovascular, orthopaedic and other complex surgeries. Destiny Pharma estimates that this totals approximately 14 million US surgeries per year, with this figure set to rise within the context of an ageing population.
About biofilms and fungal infections
Biofilms are an increasing problem that are poorly treated by current drugs. They act as a protective barrier for bacteria and have been traditionally associated with indwelling medical devices (for example, heart valves and joint replacements), and invasive medical devices (for example, catheters and endoscopes). It is now acknowledged that biofilms have a major involvement in bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections, middle-ear infections, gingivitis, corneal infections and more lethal diseases, such as endocarditis and cystic fibrosis. More recently it has been noted that bacterial biofilms may impair cutaneous wound healing and reduce topical antibacterial efficiency in healing or treating infected skin wounds, including diabetic foot ulcers.
Whilst several fungal species have been implicated in cystic fibrosis associated pneumonia, their role as spectators or contributors to the pathogenesis remains to be elucidated. Exploring the anti-fungal properties of the XF-platform on fungal species present in clinical samples of sputum from CF patients may shed light on that role.
About Destiny Pharma
Destiny Pharma is an established, clinical stage, innovative biotechnology company focused on the development of novel medicines that represent a new approach to the treatment of infectious disease. These potential new medicines are being developed to address the need for new drugs 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 WHO and the United Nations, as well as the G7 and the G20 countries. For further information, please visit
About National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC)
NBIC is the central hub where academia, industry, government, and public policy come together to tackle the global challenges biofilms present, through a forward-thinking, collaborative and interdisciplinary approach. Funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Innovate UK and Hartree Centre, our mission is to establish a network of research and innovation capacity in order to catalyse partnerships with industry in the study of biofilms to achieve breakthrough innovations and impact – from industry products and solutions to services and spinouts. The four core partners are the University of Southampton, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Liverpool and the University of Nottingham. They have now been joined by an additional 27 universities and over 60 industry partners in the aim to prevent, detect, manage and engineer solutions in biofilms.
About the University of Southampton
Among the top 100 institutions in the world (QS University Rankings, 2019), the University of Southampton drives original thinking, turns knowledge into action and impact, and creates solutions to the world’s leading challenges, from cancer to cybersecurity. The University’s academics are leaders in their fields, forging links with high-profile international businesses and organisations, and inspiring a 24,000-strong community of exceptional students, from over 135 countries globally. With a firm foundation of academic and research excellence, Biological Sciences at the University has a strong focus on finding solutions to contemporary challenges with real-life benefits, supporting and inspiring bio scientists of the future and by working across various disciplines with other universities, private industry and the public sector.