New antibiotics: a global emergency
On 21 September 2016, the United Nations launched a solemn appeal, signed by 193 countries, to urgently undertake the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
(see the World Health Organization’s press release). This mobilization creates an environment that is particularly favorable to the few biotechnology companies capable of discovering new antibiotics, including DeinoveDEINOVE and its subsidiary, DEINOBIOTICS.
In our press release of 29 September 2016, Dominique LE BELLER, CEO of DEINOBIOTICS, said, "Since 2010, no new innovative antibiotic has reached the market, and there were only 3 in the preceding 5 years. Microorganisms are the most efficient antibiotics producers in the living world but the discovery of new antibiotics is challenged by the almost exhaustive use of the same bacteria; DEINOVE’s outstanding library of bacteria strains that have never been used for antibiotics discoveries has great potential for accessing new molecules of therapeutic value. We have identified several promising molecules and a first lead is currently undergoing optimization and advanced preclinical research. The opportunity for non-dilutive financing, pharmaceuticals agreements and value creation is significant."
The challenge of antibiotic resistance
Rapid development of resistance to traditional antibiotics:
- Resistant mycobacterium: 450,000 cases of tuberculosis / year
- Multi-resistant nosocomial infections: 5.7 million patients infected and 250,000 deaths each year (EU + US)
An increasingly urgent medical need
“It is a slow-motion tsunami against which we must urgently get mobilized. In 50 years, only two new classes of antibiotics have appeared on the market. With so few antibiotics in the pipeline, the world is headed toward a new era in which a simple infection will have fatal consequences” Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the WHO – Sept.2016.
In the fight against antimicrobial resistance, it is of utmost importance to find new antibiotic structures to combat multi-resistant germs.
Annual deaths that can be attributed to antimicrobial resistances compared to the other main causes of death (source: WHO)
Antibiotics: a market that is urgently being rebooted
No new antibiotic has reached the market since 2010 and only 3 were launched in the 5 previous years. The development of new antibiotics is notably facing the difficulty of finding new sources of antibiotics as the standard microorganisms have been widely explored. The strains available in the DEINOVE library are rare and have never been explored in the search of new antibiotics. They offer a strong potential of access to original chemical structures.
- Overall market > $50 billion
- Antibiotics: $41.2 billion (2018)
- Antifungals: $15.4 billion (2018 / +50% in 5 years)
Many public policy incentives (GAIN – Generating Antibiotics Incentives Now) in the USA – patent protection increased by 5 years; faster FDA registration procedures) and public financing initiatives have been implemented:
- BPI France
- European Investment Bank
- Innovative Medicines Initiative in Europe
- Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority in the US
- Wellcome Trust with CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator), etc.
The Big Pharma groups are now actively looking to acquire new molecules, which represents an opportunity for non-dilutive financing, pharmaceutical agreements and the creation of great value. Many recent agreements/buyouts among biotech/big pharma firms and government agencies are proof of this:
- Novexel bought out by Astrazeneca = $500 million
- Polyphor/Roche = $€400 million
- GSK/Barda = $200 million
- Merck/Cubist = $9.5 billion
- Astrazeneca/Barda = $220 million