BioVersys Awarded Non-Dilutive Funding From CF AMR Syndicate Collaborative Discovery Programme

BioVersys AG announced that it has received a non-dilutive award from the CF AMR Syndicate of up to £ 500,000, via a LifeArc funded Collaborative Discovery Programme award, to support the development of novel small molecules targeting difficult to treat non-tubercular mycobacteria lung disease in people with cystic fibrosis.

BASEL, Switzerland, June 04, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

  • CF AMR Syndicate awarded BioVersys up to £ 500,000 to support project addressing resistant non-tubercular mycobacteria (NTM) lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis
  • LifeArc, Medicines Discovery Catapult and Cystic Fibrosis Trust to provide BioVersys with complementary disease specific support
  • BioVersys’ NTM program and candidates are derived from the company’s proprietary Ansamycin Chemistry platform and broadens our clinical and pre-clinical AMR pipeline

BioVersys AG, a multi-asset, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on research and development of novel antibacterial products for serious life-threatening infections caused by multi-drug resistant (“MDR”) bacteria, announced today that it has received a non-dilutive award from the CF AMR Syndicate of up to £ 500,000, via a LifeArc funded Collaborative Discovery Programme (CDP) award, to support the development of novel small molecules targeting difficult to treat non-tubercular mycobacteria lung disease (NTM-LD) in people with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major global health threat with the currently available therapeutics becoming more and more obsolete due to AMR.1 This is of greatest concern when addressing NTM-LD, as in chronic treatments (12-24 months) resistance can often develop. Due to the lack of effective treatment options, current cure rates for NTM-LD are as low as 30-50%.2 Particularly vulnerable to NTM-LD are people who suffer from structural airway disease such as cystic fibrosis (CF) or bronchiectasis.

CF affects over 162,000 people globally.3 While advances in drug treatment have transformed the experience of many people with the condition, there continues to be an urgent need to identify new therapies. The build-up of thick sticky mucus in the lungs of people living with CF predisposes them to infections which can be difficult to clear. The development of frequent and persistent infections leads to a progressive decline in lung function. Treatment failure due to the development of resistance is frequently seen in people living with CF, and the consequences can be devastating. The discovery and development of new antimicrobials to treat infections associated with CF is an urgent unmet need.

BioVersys’ NTM program is derived from the company’s proprietary Ansamycin Chemistry platform. The BioVersys’ research team is developing a novel and highly potent broad-spectrum anti-NTM ansamycin, suitable for oral or inhalation therapy and devoid of cross-resistance with other therapeutic classes. Moreover, since NTM-LD patients are often on multiple drug therapy, it is of paramount importance that the company’s candidate molecule to be selected for development does not show any significant potential for drug-drug interactions.

Dr. Sergio Lociuro, Chief Scientific Officer of BioVersys: “We are absolutely delighted not only to have been awarded this funding from CF AMR Syndicate, but also to have them as new collaboration partners. Collaborating with valuable and experienced partners in the field is the most efficient and effective way to successfully pursue research. The collaboration with the CF AMR Syndicate (LifeArc, Medicines Discovery Catapult and Cystic Fibrosis Trust) will further expand BioVersys’ network and provide relevant information for the development of products that are targeted to have a positive impact in the treatment of pulmonary diseases caused by NTMs and hence on patients’ lives.”

Catherine Kettleborough, LifeArc’s Chronic Respiratory Infection Translational Challenge Lead: “The Collaborative Discovery Programme (CDP) is part of LifeArc’s Chronic Respiratory Infection Translational Challenge which is a programme that aims to accelerate scientific innovation for people living with CF and bronchiectasis. Working with MDC and Cystic Fibrosis Trust, this programme aims to deliver new therapies to end the vicious cycle of infection, inflammation and permanent lung damage for people living with CF. We are delighted to welcome BioVersys to the programme, as one of the six supported projects. We are pleased to support an advanced Discovery project that is well positioned to address the needs of the CF community.”

Dr Paula Sommer, Head of Research at Cystic Fibrosis Trust: “People living with CF are particularly vulnerable to antimicrobial resistance. New antimicrobials that target CF-associated lung infections are urgently needed. We are delighted that the programme, developed with input from the CF community, has commenced.”

Dr Beverley Isherwood, Strategy Leader, Infectious Diseases at Medicines Discovery Catapult: “The CF AMR Syndicate is a unique initiative that brings people with CF together with leading experts from across the industry, academia and clinical care to accelerate the translation of CF antimicrobials to the clinic. With this programme, we aim to extend the impact of this patient-centred collective approach to contribute new promising antimicrobials for people who need them.”

About non-tubercular mycobacteria
Non-tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) are ubiquitous environmental bacteria whose common clinical manifestation is pulmonary disease (NTM-PD) caused most frequently by Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) and Mycobacterium abscessus subspecies (MAB).4 NTM-PD affects approximately 250,000 people per year, predominantly in North America and Asia.3 Treatment of NTM infections is challenging due to variable intrinsic bacterial susceptibility, acquired resistance to commonly used antimicrobial agents, length of therapy (at least 12 months) and adverse effects associated with current treatment options. Macrolide-based, triple drug regimens, plus aminoglycosides for chronic/relapsing infections5 are considered only moderately effective for treating MAC, whereas no therapy of predictable efficacy exists for the treatment of M. abscessus, a pathogen associated with up to 50% mortality.6 People with predisposed conditions, including cystic fibrosis (CF), other lung diseases and immune-compromised patients are more easily colonise. Alarmingly, the incidence of NTM infections among people living with CF has increased from 3.3% to 22.6%, with MAB becoming a very prominent pathogen.7

About CF AMR Syndicate
The CF AMR Syndicate is a cross-sector initiative that brings together leading experts in CF and AMR from industry, academia and the clinic with people with CF. The Syndicate’s aim is to accelerate the translation of CF antimicrobials and diagnostics to the clinic and bring new and effective treatment options to people with CF. The Syndicate was established in 2019 and is jointly managed by Medicines Discovery Catapult, Cystic Fibrosis Trust and LifeArc.

About LifeArc
LifeArc is a self-funded, not-for-profit medical research organisation and charity. We take science ideas out of the lab and help turn them into medical breakthroughs that can be life-changing for patients. We have been doing this for more than 25 years and our work has resulted in five licensed medicines, including cancer drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), lecanemab for Alzheimer’s (Leqembi®), and a diagnostic for antibiotic resistance. Our teams are experts in drug and diagnostics discovery, technology transfer, and intellectual property. Our work is in translational science – bridging the gap between academic research and clinical development, providing funding, research and expert knowledge, all with a clear and unwavering commitment to having a positive impact on patient lives. The LifeArc Chronic Respiratory Infection Translational Challenge (CRI TC) is our ambitious programme to accelerate scientific innovation for people living with bronchiectasis (BE) and cystic fibrosis (CF). By partnering with patients, academics, charities, healthcare professionals and industry, we aim to fast-track scientific discoveries into new clinical solutions to transform how chronic respiratory infections are detected, treated and managed.

About Medicines Discovery Catapult
Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) is an independent, not-for-profit innovation centre for drug discovery and part of the Catapult Network established by Innovate UK. MDC’s vision is to reshape drug discovery for patient benefit by transforming great UK science into better treatments through partnership. It supports drug discovery innovators by making world-class expertise, facilities, complex technologies and advanced analytics accessible to enable successful medicines discovery. MDC develops pioneering, impactful R&D collaborations across biotech, academia, technology companies, charities, and global pharma. It brings these communities together in active, focused national programmes that target high-risk areas of patient need. In doing so, MDC helps to create a thriving UK drug discovery sector and translates the best of UK science into the best new treatments for the benefit of patients worldwide.

About Cystic Fibrosis Trust
Cystic Fibrosis Trust is the only UK-wide charity dedicated to uniting for a life unlimited for everyone affected by cystic fibrosis. The Trust funds cutting edge research, provides confidential advice, support, and information on any aspect of cystic fibrosis, including help with financial support. Since 2013 Cystic Fibrosis Trust has spent £12m on research to tackle CF lung infections, including world class research in our UK CF Innovation Hub at the University of Cambridge, our international, multidisciplinary Strategic Research Centres and our Venture and Innovation leverage funding awards. The work the Trust does is only made possible by the generous donations from supporters. Visit our website to find out more about cystic fibrosis, the work of the Trust and how you can help.

About BioVersys
BioVersys AG is a multi-asset, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying, developing and commercializing novel antibacterial products for serious life-threatening infections caused by multi-drug resistant (“MDR”) bacteria. Derived from the company’s two internal technology platforms (TRIC and Ansamycin Chemistry), candidates are designed and developed to overcome resistance mechanisms, block virulence production and directly affect the pathogenesis of harmful bacteria towards the identification of new treatment options in the antimicrobial and microbiome fields. This enables BioVersys to address the high unmet medical need for new treatments against life-threatening resistant bacterial infections and bacteria-exacerbated chronic inflammatory microbiome disorders. The company’s most advanced research and development programs address nosocomial infections of Acinetobacter baumannii (BV100, Phase 2), and tuberculosis (alpibectir, Phase 2a, in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and a consortium of the University of Lille, France). BioVersys is located in the biotech hub of Basel, Switzerland.

BioVersys contact
Sylvia Mundt, Executive Assistant to CEO, Tel. +41 61 633 22 50; Mail:

1 Lancet, Global burden of bacterial antimicrobial resistance in 2019: a systematic analysis, VOLUME 399, ISSUE 10325, P629-655, FEBRUARY 12, 2022
2 Wang et al., 2022; Novosad et al., 2017; Lee et al., 2021; Mourad et al., 2021
3 Guo et al., Worldwide rates of diagnosis and effective treatment for cystic fibrosis, J Cyst Fibros. 2022 May;21(3):456-462. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2022.01.009
4 Hamed KA & G. Tillotson “A narrative review of nontuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease: microbiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and management challenges” Ex. Rev. Resp. Med. (2023), 17 (11), 973 - 988
5 Daley CL et al. “Treatment of nontuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease: an official ATS/ERS/ESCMID/IDSA clinical practice guideline” Eur. Resp. J. (2020), 56, 2000535;; Griffith DE et al. “An Official ATS/IDSA Statement: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention of Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Diseases” Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. (2007), 175, 367–416;
6 Jhun BW et al. “Prognostic factors associated with long-term mortality in 1445 patients with nontuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease: a 15-year follow-up study” Eur. Resp. J. (2020), 55, 1900798;
7 Degiacomi G. et al. “Mycobacterium abscessus, an Emerging and Worrisome Pathogen among Cystic Fibrosis Patients” Int. J. Mol. Sci. (2019), 20, 5868; doi: 10.3390/ijms20235868

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