In a normal lung, thin, watery mucus lines the lung surface, allowing structures known as cilia to move freely and aid in the clearance of bacteria and particles from the lung.
During pulmonary infection and disease states such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis (CF), the mucus lining the lung surface becomes thick and viscous. This thick mucus impedes movement of the cilia and reduces their ability to clear mucus and bacteria from the lung, allowing for the proliferation of bacterial colonies and buildup of biofilms on the lung’s surface. These biofilms can serve as a barrier through which antibiotics cannot penetrate, thereby protecting the bacteria and rendering antibiotics less effective against the infection, increasing the potential for the development of antibiotic resistance.
Synspira’s molecules are designed to disrupt bacterial biofilms to expose the bacteria to antibiotic treatment and to thin and loosen mucus to allow cilia to move freely and assist in clearing bacteria and mucus from the lung surface. The compounds also weaken the free bacteria, additionally sensitizing them to antibiotics.
Studies to date have found that the treatment of biofilms from multi-drug resistant bacteria with Synspira’s proprietary molecules leads to significant reductions in the presence of bacterial biofilms after just 10 minutes of treatment. Furthermore, additional treatment with antibiotics leads to a significant reduction in bacterial survival as compared to bacterial colonies not treated with Synspira’s compounds (green: viable bacteria, red: non-viable bacteria).