Novacta Biosystems, a UK-based anti-infective therapeutics company, announced that the Wellcome Trust, the UK's largest medical research charity, has awarded it £3.5 million as part of the Trust's Strategic Translational Award programme. Novacta will use the award to progress development of a drug which, it is hoped, will help combat hospital-based Clostridium difficile (C.difficile) infections.
Novacta is developing novel, naturally-derived products known as 'lantibiotics' as potential drugs for treating hospital acquired infections caused by C.difficile. Early preclinical data show promise for an effective treatment for CDI, acting selectively to kill C.difficile with less disturbance of normal gut bacteria than seen with existing drugs. Novacta will use the Wellcome Trust Strategic Translational award to progress its preclinical drug candidates into human clinical studies.
Dr Ted Bianco, Director of Technology Transfer at the Wellcome Trust, said "It is ironic that the current rise in C.difficile infections owes much to the widespread use of broad spectrum antibiotics. We need to be smarter in how we deploy our existing medicines and how we develop new treatments. Novacta should be applauded for its efforts to move away from carpet bombing our microbial flora in favour of precision targeting of the C.difficile bacterium."