Funding supports unique approach for fighting multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (AB)
Clinical trial preparations of OMN6 under way
Jerusalem, Israel — Omnix Medical, a Jerusalem-based biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation anti-infectives for the treatment of life-threatening infections, has received a grant by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the development of its first-in-class antimicrobial peptide OMN6 targeting Acinetobacter baumannii (AB). Acinetobacter baumannii are multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria and designated number one on the WHO/CDC Global Priority Pathogens List.
The funding will be used to accelerate the development of Omnix Medical´s lead compound OMN6 towards clinical development. OMN6 is a novel antimicrobial peptide for treating life-threatening infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria. The compound has successfully been progressed through preclinical studies, elucidating its mechanism of action, demonstrating promising in-vivo efficacy against drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, and showing no adverse effects in in-vivo toxicity studies. In 2017, OMN6 was designated a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) by the FDA. Pre-clinical studies and preparations of a Phase I clinical trial are currently ongoing.
Omnix Medical is developing a promising pipeline of novel anti-infective agents based on a new approach of fighting infectious diseases, especially infections caused by multi-drug resistant pathogens. Instead of targeting chemical or biological bacterial pathways as traditional antibiotics do, they physically destroy the protective membrane of bacteria. This leads to an immediate death of the pathogens regardless of existing resistances. Preclinical data show that Omnix Medical´s agents are significantly more potent than currently available antibiotics. Moreover, their unique mode of action prevents the development of new resistances.
“We are excited about the grant provided by the NIH,” said Dr. Moshik Cohen-Kutner, CEO of Omnix Medical. “As a young pharma company, it is very challenging to be considered for funding by the NIH. Following the EIC funding announced in January this year, this is another major validation of our unique approach to treat life-threatening, drug-resistant infections. We are now progressing OMN6 towards clinical trials with the goal of providing patients suffering from severe drug resistant infections with highly needed, safe and effective treatments.”
So far, bacteria can only be treated with traditional antibiotic drugs whose impact is often significantly limited by drug resistances. Therefore, health authorities worldwide have recognized that the alarming rise of potentially lethal infections can only be addressed by completely novel anti-infective approaches.
Omnix Medical was founded on 2015 to address the urgent need for new life-saving antibiotics. Omnix’ proprietary technology eliminates bacteria by mimicking the innate immune system of insects which is using unique molecules to efficiently and selectively kill resistant bacterial strains without toxic effects. This mechanism which kills bacteria upon contact, has endured for over 200 million years and is the core of Omnix’ technology. The Company’s lead compound is being developed for the treatment of life-threatening hospital-acquired infections via systemic IV-administration. It targets superbugs, such as Gram-negative, multidrug-resistant pathogens which belong to the ESKAPE bacteria group, the most serious and urgent threats to public health.