Clinical and Commercial Development
Novamycin is unique as the first antifungal in development for the treatment of fungal disease as an inhaled, systemic and mucocutaneous therapy. NP339 is a rapidly acting fungicidal peptide that has demonstrated superiority over existing antifungal classes in preclinical testing (with a placebo like safety profile) for a number of fungal infections. Novamycin is expected to undergo initial clinical studies in 2018 for respiratory aspergillosis (Aspergillus infection in the lung which can become disseminated throughout the body) and oral pharyngeal candidiasis (Candida infection of the mouth and pharynx; often referred to as thrush). Novamycin is derived from the same peptide technology platform as Novexatin/NP213 and so the route to clinic and market for Novamycin has already been significantly de-risked.
Novamycin is a novel, potent synthetic antimicrobial peptide (AMP) generated from NovaBiotics rational drug design technology platform. Specifically, Novamycin is a poly-Arginine based cationic peptide.
Mechanism of Action
Novamycin acts through membrane perturbation and lysis; this mode of action rapidly killing both non-metabolising and metabolically active fungi. This mechanism of action minimises or negates the risk of acquired drug resistance. Novamycin has been shown to be active against pathogens that are resistant/insensitive to conventional antifungals and has a placebo-like safety profile.
In an aging population more frequently subjected to treatments which suppress the immune system, aspergillosis and candidaemia (and other life-threatening opportunistic fungal infections) represent an increasing burden on global health-care systems. Total costs incurred in treating deep seated fungal infections can run to tens of thousands of pounds per patient. Currently available treatments for bloodstream and deep-tissue fungal infections have survival rates as low as 20% and are associated with a range of serious complications and side-effects. Drug resistance is a very significant issue which impacts markedly on treatment options for already sick patients. There is an obvious and immediate need to provide novel therapeutic solutions to this significant clinical problem; representing a global market forecast worth in excess of $5.7 billion for systemic mycoses. As a potent antifungal peptide that rapidly kills target pathogens in such a way as to minimise, if not negate the chances of drug resistance in target fungal organisms, Novamycin represents one potential solution.