EnBiotix Raises $11M to Develop Antibiotics for Lung Infections

Marisa Wexler, MS avatar

by Marisa Wexler, MS |

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EnBiotix has raised $11 million in financing that will help fund clinical testing of ColiFin (inhaled colistimethate sodium) and murepavadin, two antibiotics that may be useful for controlling lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Some of the funding was from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which joined the investment mainly to fund long-term safety studies of ColiFin, an inhaled antibiotic that has been approved in Europe for more than a decade as a treatment for chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections in CF patients.

The safety studies on ColiFin will be done in parallel to a global Phase 3 clinical study testing the medication for the management of chronic Pseudomonas lung infections in CF patients, which EnBiotix plans to launch in the new year.

Other contributors to the funding were Vectura Group and Sanford Biosciences. The financing round comes prior to a merger with Polyphor, per an agreement between the companies earlier this year. The merged company has been remamed Spexis.

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“It is very motivating for all of us at EnBiotix to secure this financing from such a globally recognized syndicate of life science investors. The proceeds from the financing will significantly accelerate our plans to deliver innovative products to cystic fibrosis and other rare disease patients with significant unmet needs,” Jeffrey D. Wager, MD, chairman and CEO of EnBiotix, said in a press release.

“We look forward to further discussions with Vectura to negotiate a strategic alliance agreement to further advance our pipeline and accelerate the development and commercialization of our inhaled drug portfolio,” Wager added.

In addition to funding the development of ColiFin, the new financing also will support other projects, including the development of murepavadin, an experimental inhaled antibiotic being developed to treat Pseudomonas infections.

Murepavadin is a novel kind of antibiotic that kills bacterium by disrupting their outer membrane. According to EnBiotix, it has shown efficacy against Pseudomonas in laboratory experiments, and has demonstrated the ability to kill bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics. EnBiotix acquired murepavadin as part of its merger agreement with Polyphor.

EnBiotix and Polyphor recently announced the launch of a Phase 1 clinical trial that is testing the safety, tolerability, and pharmacological properties of murepavadin in healthy volunteers. The first patient was dosed earlier this month.

“We are very excited about the start of this important trial with inhaled murepavadin in a rare pulmonary disease indication,” Wager said in a previous press release.

“Even with the advent of CFTR corrector therapy, CF patients with chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection still urgently need new antibiotic options and inhaled murepavadin has the potential to provide a significant advancement in the treatment of these patients,” Wager said.

The Phase 1 trial is being jointly funded by Polyphor and the European Innovative Medicines Initiative.

“As we progress to complete the planned merger with Polyphor this year, we ensure timely continuation of our programs, and we are grateful to the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) for their tremendous support and guidance,” Wager added.