Roche and Discuva extend agreement to develop target antimicrobials

pharmafile | February 22, 2017 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Discuva, Roche 

Discuva, a drug discovery company based in Cambridge, UK, has announced that its collaboration with Roche, first agreed in 2014, has been extended until February 2018. The collaboration sees Discuva provide Roche with potential lead programmes that target Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria.

With antibiotic resistant bacteria becoming a more pressing global health issue, the collaboration aims to develop new antibiotics to fight the new generation of resistant bacteria.

“This contract amendment enables the programmes to benefit from the exceptional input of both parties and move the programmes more efficiently towards patients,” stated Dr David Williams, CEO of Discuva. “We are passionately committed to establishing a succession of novel antibiotics to meet the challenge that the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance represents.”

Discuva possesses SATIN (Selective Antibiotic Target IdentificatioN) sequencing and bioinformatics platform to identify new drug targets. The collaboration has so far produced ‘multiple’ potential candidates.

The original deal, signed in 2014, saw Discuva receive an up-front fee of $16 million and $175 million per lead identified. The deal would also see Discuva receive royalties on any commercial launch.

Discuva recently announced that it had received £1.5 million from Innovate UK, in the form of a Biomedical Catalyst grant. It received the grant in January of this year and is the second time it has received such a grant from Innovate UK – with the first being given in 2012, when Discuva first opened its laboratories.

The good news for Discuva comes at a time when there is more and more research being funnelled into antibiotic resistance. For instance, studies in China found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in samples taken along a 4km stretch of coast while another study found that flies were beginning to spread the bacteria further afield.

Ben Hargreaves

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