U.S. Army Awards $2.73 Million To Synedgen for Development of Molecules That Kill Drug-Resistant Bacteria
Synedgen, Inc. has been awarded $2.73 million in funding by the U.S. Army for development of life-saving products and therapies to treat drug-resistant bacteria, particularly those that threaten U.S. troops injured in the battlefield.
The award will be used to manufacture pharmaceutical-grade biopolymer derivatives and examine the efficacy of improved wound care treatments in FDA clinical trials. The pharmaceutical product will also be demonstrated for infection prophylaxis and new methods to prevent and treat gastrointestinal disease by binding to and removing pathogenic microorganisms in the G.I. tract. The products will be manufactured at Synedgen’s facilities in Honolulu.
“Synedgen molecules offer the potential to provide revolutionary improvements for wound treatment and gastrointestinal diseases. This award will facilitate the development and manufacture of much-needed products, and we are pleased to receive the recognition and support of our efforts by the U.S. Army,” stated Synedgen President and CEO William Wiesmann, M.D.
The derivatives developed by Synedgen have potent antimicrobial properties against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including those that are multi-drug resistant. These derivatives also have the ability to dissolve biofilms, the protective layer that bacteria produce that conglomerates and adheres them to surfaces, including living tissue and inanimate materials.
Biofilms are nearly impervious to traditional antibiotics and are a significant cause of hospital infections in wound and surgery sites, due largely to the persistent presence of these biofilms on hospital equipment. Synedgen biopolymer derivatives are effective in disrupting biofilms of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which has become increasingly difficult to control in hospitals and similar health care environments, and multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, also known as “Iraqibacter” for its high rate of infections among troops injured in the war in Iraq.
Pathogenic bacteria are becoming increasingly unresponsive to multiple traditional antibiotics, and this multi-drug resistance increases the risk and magnitude of infection in wounds and burns. Major complications of burn injuries, which are common with wounded soldiers, include fluid loss and wound sepsis due to bacterial infection. A set of bacteria are known to cause serious infections, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium which can be difficult to treat due to its resistance to antibiotics, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae . These bacteria can quickly become life threatening, primarily due to the lack of effective antibiotics for the multi-drug resistant species.
U.S. military personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have contracted high rates of Acinetobacter baumannii, which has resulted in wound, respiratory and bloodstream infections. This collection of bacteria, referred to by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as part of the “ESKAPE” bacteria, are known for their rapid development of resistance to multiple common types of antibiotics and for the severity of the associated infections.
Synedgen’s derivatives have demonstrated efficacy against all of these ESKAPE bacteria. Multiple repeated tests demonstrate that Synedgen’s biopolymer derivative does not generate antibiotic resistance and because of its unique interaction with bacteria, is unlikely generate resistance in the future.
Synedgen, Inc. is an innovative biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapies and products through its proprietary biopolymer technology platform. This platform technology provides the foundation for comprehensive environmental and therapeutic antimicrobials to reduce bacterial pathogens. Research is focused to specifically address the unmet need for therapies that treat and prevent bacterial infections, primarily from those that have developed resistance to traditional antibiotics.
Synedgen’s corporate headquarters and research laboratory are in Claremont CA; Synedgen’s pharmaceutical manufacturing facility is in Honolulu, HI. The Hawaii lab has a class 10,000 clean room for GMP production.