CFF Awards Motif Bio $120,000 to Support Iclaprim Testing for Lung Infections

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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Motif Bio has received a $120,000 award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) to fund in vitro testing of iclaprim — a broad-spectrum antibiotic — for the treatment of lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Iclaprim is an antibiotic with potent in vitro activity against Gram-positive clinical isolates of many types of staphylococci, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

In a study to be financed by the Bethesda, Maryland-based CFF, researchers will test iclaprim’s effectiveness against various strains of Burkholderia, Stenotrophomonas and Achromobacter bacteria — which are all often present in the airways of CF patients and often resistant to common antibiotics.

Iclaprim has been studied in an animal model of chronic pulmonary MRSA infection, which mimics the pathology observed in the lungs of CF patients, with promising results. In these studies, iclaprim achieved 99.9 percent efficacy against MRSA within four to six hours of drug exposure – versus eight to 10 hours for vancomycin, another antibiotic.

The data appeared in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases in an article titled “Efficacy evaluation of iclaprim in a neutropenic rat lung infection model with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus entrapped in alginate microspheres.”

“Patients with cystic fibrosis, especially in the later stages of lung disease, are often infected with multidrug resistant bacteria that severely limit treatment options,” Dr. David Huang, chief medical officer of London-based Motif Bio, said in a press release. “The grant will advance the work we are doing to further elucidate iclaprim’s ability to inhibit the most problematic bacteria, including multidrug resistant bacteria that are common in patients with cystic fibrosis.”

To date, iclaprim has been studied in over 1,300 patients and healthy volunteers. An iclaprim fixed dose could, if approved, help reduce the resources and costs associated with treatment of MRSA-associated lung infections in clinical settings.

The promising results seen in previous studies led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s September 2017 decision to grant iclaprim orphan drug status to treat Staphylococcus aureus lung infections in CF patients.