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Biotechs Battle Bacteria

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

The rise in bacterial resistance has prompted a plethora of creative approaches to developing antibiotics. These range from finding completely novel targets to harnessing the body's own immune system to fight bacteria. And although biotechs have had the anti-bacterials space to themselves for the last few years, as more programs reach proof of concept, some Big Pharma may be showing signs of renewed interest.

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Inimex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The basis for Inimex's pipeline was born a few years ago when company founders teamed up to investigate small cationic peptides as antimicrobials for the Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network. They found that some cationic peptides didn't kill bacteria, but had the ability to prevent or treat infection in animal models. The trio led a team to concentrate on a unique expression profile that activated innate response without stimulating inflammation, and that research forms the foundation of the company's current portfolio of compounds that selectively boost immunity.

Prolysis Ltd.

Prolysis Ltd. reckons it has a head start over other biotechs seeking novel anti-infectives because its core technology--a series of whole cell assays targeting critical bacterial pathways--allows it to select, early on, only those compounds that get inside the bacterial cell.

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