Synspira Planning Phase 1 Trial of Potential Therapy for CF Bacterial Infections

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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Synspira is planning to start a first, or Phase 1, clinical test of SNSP113, its therapeutic candidate for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF).

The trial, expected to begin in 2018, is possible because of $8 million in funding Synspira received from a private investor, the company announced in a press release.  It also announced the appointment of new members to its board of directors.

SNSP113 is a glycopolymer-based therapeutic being developed as an inhaled treatment of bacterial infections and disease flares in CF patients. Glycopolymers are synthetic sugar-containing macromolecules.

The therapy is thought to work by interacting with glycoproteins (carbohydrate-rich proteins) in mucus to loosen it, and with other molecules in bacterial biofilms to disrupt their cell walls.

“We believe SNSP113’s unique attributes represent a potentially important new therapeutic approach and could dramatically improve the lives of patients living with cystic fibrosis,” said Shenda Baker, PhD, founding chief executive officer of Synspira.

In reducing mucus viscosity and adhesion, SNSP113 can facilitate mucus clearance from the lungs of CF patients. This is especially important given that bacterial biofilms and the accumulation of mucus are known key triggers of pulmonary exacerbations and infections.

By disrupting cell walls of invading bacteria, SNSP113 may increase their permeability to improve the effectiveness of antibiotic treatments.

“The buildup of thick mucus in the lungs and the resultant bacterial infection is a hallmark of cystic fibrosis and is the cause of the lung damage which results in premature death,” said Stuart Elborn, MD, center director for Specialist Adult Cystic Fibrosis at Royal Brompton Hospital, in London. “By directly disrupting this mucus accumulation and the related bacterial biofilm, Synspira is taking a completely novel approach to treating this debilitating and life-shortening disease.”

In pre-clinical studies, SNSP113 was shown to significantly reduce the viability of a large range of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including the highly virulent Burkholderia cepacia.

“Synspira is sharply focused on developing important new inhaled glycopolymer therapies for pulmonary disease and will be initiating a Phase 1 clinical trial for SNSP113 early in 2018,” said William Wiesmann, MD, Synspira’s board chairman. “We also look forward to exploring additional indications such as pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease where the formation of biofilm is a key driver of pulmonary decline.” said William Wiesmann, MD, who was appointed Synspira’s Chairman of the Board.

The company is working to develop inhaled therapies based on its Glycomics Technology Platform. Its proprietary agents have unique characteristics that are intended to make it possible for them to address the chronic infection and inflammation that often leads to exacerbations and lung function decline.