AlgiPharma is developing its alginate technology to enhance the effect of antimicrobial drugs in treating resistant and recurrent infections. These alginates have already demonstrated the potential to improve the efficiency of antibiotics in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients through the disruption of microbial biofilm defences. This new project will create additional value by providing novel products for out-licensing that will have a wide application in infection control. AlgiPharma’s alginate technology will be used in combination with antimicrobial therapies to reduce the amount of drug needed to control/eradicate the infection and reduce the unwanted side effects often seen with prolonged exposure to these antimicrobial drugs. Through the combination with alginate either through co-administration or direct coupling, the project will seek to overcome the challenges of resistance, tolerance, solubility and toxicity in antimicrobial therapeutics. This in turn will lead to new therapy options to address antimicrobial drug resistance, which is a growing global threat to human health.
In the first year of the project we will consolidate communication between the project partners and establish task priorities for the project with a kick-off meeting in the Spring. We will also initiate the appointment process for recruitment of additional staff resources for the project. One of the initial key scientific tasks will be to build a bank of alginate oligosaccharides with a range of compositions that can be used by the project partners in subsequent drug combination/coupling experiments.
The TARRGET project builds upon years of research on alginate oligomers, including data from clinical trials. We have seen that alginate oligomers potentiate the effect of certain antimicrobial drugs and this project seeks to evaluate the clinical and economic potential of such products. We have identified four target products to explore further based on preliminary data and the TARRGET project aims to prepare one or several of these for first-in-man clinical trials by the end of the project. The project is a collaboration between AlgiPharma, SINTEF and NTNU and we have worked together on a number of projects for more than 10 years. In addition we will use contract research organizations when needed. The project will create new alginate oligomers and test them in combinations with the antibiotics aztreonam and vancomycin to find the optimal combination and dose. We will also prepare new and better alginate oligomer conjugates to the antifungal drug amphotericin B in order to increase solubility and reduce toxicity, The same applies to polyamines, which have many exciting properties including antibacterial and antifungal and a newly synthesised example showed very promising in vitro data. These candidates will be extensively tested in vitro and in vivo and their pharmacoeconomic potential will be evaluated throughout the project before any transitions to preclinical and clinical trials can start. The goal is to have a new product on the market between 2027 and 2029.