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January 17, 2018

Synspira’s Novel Glycopolymer Proves Effective Against Antibiotic Resistance

 CAMBRIDGE, Mass.– Synspira, a privately held company developing a new class of inhaled glycopolymer-based therapeutics for the treatment of pulmonary disease, today announced the results of a study exploring poly-N (acetyl, arginyl) glucosamine (PAAG) as a potential new treatment for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The full study, “In Vitro Activity of Novel Glycopolymer Against Clinical Isolates of Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus,” is published in PLOS ONE.

The study was conducted by Synedgen, a pioneering biotechnology company using the science of glycomics to discover and develop polysaccharide-based drugs that enhance and mimic the innate immune system. Synspira has an exclusive license from Synedgen to the Glycomics Technology Platform for the development of inhaled therapeutics in pulmonary indications.

MRSA is a contagious bacterial infection, often resistant to numerous antibiotics, making it increasingly challenging to treat. More than 2 million people in the U.S. every year acquire serious antibiotic-resistant MRSA infections. The prevalence of MRSA in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) is increasing steadily and is a significant contributor to pulmonary decline.

Synspira is developing PAAG as part of its new class of glycopolymers to serve as an adjunctive therapy to traditional antibiotic strategies to treat MRSA and multidrug-resistant (MDR) infections. The results of the study demonstrate the antibacterial activity of PAAG against clinical isolates of methicillin and mupirocin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and its ability to dramatically reduce the amount of antibiotic required to kill the bacteria.

“The study published today explores how PAAG can enhance the efficacy of current antibiotics used to treat MRSA, a common pathogen in patients with cystic fibrosis, who face frequent complications from MDR bacteria,” said Shenda Baker, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Synspira. “PAAG is the active component in Synspira’s inhaled pulmonary candidate, SNSP113, which is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of CF.”

The study showed antibacterial efficacy of PAAG against clinical isolates of MRSA and mupirocin resistant S. aureus. These results demonstrate that PAAG rapidly permeabilizes the bacteria to both directly kill MRSA and is synergistic with antibiotics, reducing the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) below levels where bacteria are considered resistant and resensitizing bacteria to the antibiotic. In addition, in a prior study published in PLOS ONE, PAAG improved the effectiveness of antibiotics against Burkholderia cepaciacomplex.

“This new class of glycopolymers may provide a new tool in the battle against multidrug-resistant bacteria,” stated John Uhrig, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Division of Infectious Disease at the Medical College of Wisconsin. “PAAG’s ability to permeabilize bacteria reduces their ability to respond to a variety of antibiotic challenges, and thus has tremendous potential for treating MDR infections.”

About SNSP113
SNSP113 is a glycopolymer-based therapeutic being developed as an inhaled treatment to improve lung function in patients with cystic fibrosis. As a modified polysaccharide molecule, SNSP113 interacts with structural polymers in protective bacterial biofilms, breaking them apart, and with native glycoproteins in mucus, reducing mucus viscosity and adhesion. SNSP113 also interacts with the cell walls of invading bacteria increasing their permeability, thereby reducing their inherent viability and potentiating the efficacy of antibiotics. SNSP113 is designed to reduce infection and inflammation, the key drivers of pulmonary exacerbations and pulmonary decline in cystic fibrosis patients.

About Synspira
Synspira is developing a new class of inhaled glycopolymer-based therapeutics to reduce pulmonary inflammation and infection, key drivers of pulmonary diseases including cystic fibrosis (CF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pneumonia. Synspira has an exclusive license from Synedgen to the Glycomics Technology Platform for the development of inhaled therapeutics in pulmonary indications. Synspira is dedicated to developing drugs with new mechanisms of action to target and change the course of pulmonary diseases.

Media Contact

MacDougall Biomedical Communications
Amanda Houlihan, 781-235-3060