THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Dutch biotechnology company Micreos announced it has secured another €32 million in funding to further develop its endolysin platform technology, based on targeted killing of only unwanted bacteria. This funding round will help Micreos accelerate its clinical development programs for atopic dermatitis, diabetic (MRSA) wounds and bloodstream infections, based on its pharmaceutical lead compounds, XZ.700 and SP.800.
Endolysins as precision anti-bacterials
In its search for solutions, Micreos' researchers, in close collaboration with the Swiss Federal Technology Institute ETH Zurich, turned to nature's own precision anti-bacterials, named endolysins. Unlike antibiotics, these highly specific enzymes have the ability to target only unwanted bacteria, while preserving the microbiome, comprising billions of 'good' bacteria, essential for our health. Endolysins are safe and environmentally friendly. Because of their working mechanism, development of resistance is not expected.
Addressing unmet medical needs
XZ.700 targets Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), including the antibiotic-resistant MRSA, while preserving Staphylococcus epidermidis, considered to be beneficial on the skin and conducive to wound healing. SP.800 targets all staphylococcal species.
The XZ.700 and SP.800 clinical development programs includes the following indications:
- Atopic Dermatitis: Micreos is conducting a Phase I/IIa study to evaluate the world's first pharmaceutical endolysin as a topical therapy in humans. In Atopic Dermatitis patients, the skin microbiome is unbalanced with an over-proliferation of S. aureus, that is considered to be a causative and aggravating trigger, and viewed as an independent cause of itch, irritation and infection.
- Diabetic Foot Ulcers: Infection of foot ulcers is a common, often severe complication in diabetes. S. aureus has emerged as a serious source of infections in patients with diabetic foot ulcers and is the most frequent pathogen isolated. If left untreated, severe complications can arise, including amputation.
- Bloodstream Infections: S. aureus is a common cause of deadly bloodstream infections, with an increasing proportion of infections due to MRSA. This often leads to sepsis syndrome, with a high mortality rate.
- Cancer: Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma is a type of cancer of the immune system, located in the skin. It has now been discovered that S. aureus bacteria on the skin produce staphylococcal enterotoxins that stimulate the growth of malignant T-cells.
"We're beginning to appreciate that the importance of biodiversity extends beyond the rainforest, right up to our very own bodies and wellbeing. Clinical studies demonstrate the interplay between the commensal microbiota on and inside our bodies, and our immune system, as demonstrated by the emergence and increase of many chronic diseases and even certain forms of cancer. This new paradigm requires a new approach, which we have embraced as our mission," says Mark Offerhaus, founder and CEO of Micreos.
Micreos develops new biological therapies based on targeted killing of only unwanted bacteria, set to replace antibiotics in a wide range of applications, The company is viewed as a global leader in this field. Its proprietary endolysin technology has been created together with the Swiss Federal Technology Institute, ETH Zurich. Headquartered in The Hague, The Netherlands, Micreos runs its technology center in Zurich, with operations in the Netherlands and the USA. Under the Gladskin brand, Micreos has launched several endolysin-based OTC products for people with inflammatory skin conditions caused or aggravated by S. aureus, including acne, eczema and rosacea, and helped hundreds of thousands of people.