NP339 is a novel antifungal peptide developed for front-line treatment of medically unmet, yeast and mould infections, particularly those caused by Aspergillus spp. and Candida spp.

Mortality rates for Aspergillus infections are as high as 80% (100% without treatment) and Candida remains the most common cause (over 50%) of hospital based (nosocomial) blood stream or deep tissue fungal infections. Invasive fungal disease (IFD), caused by these and other fungal pathogens, is a growing medical problem associated with a failure or inability of the body's immune system to fight off opportunistic fungi. Other infections caused by Candida albicans, including (recurrent) vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) and oral pharyngeal candidiasis (OPC) are a massive burden on the quality of life of those affected and are very difficult, if not impossible, to resolve effectively with limited existing treatment options.

Clinical and Commercial Development

NP339 is unique as the first antifungal in development for the treatment of fungal disease as an inhaled, systemic and mucocutaneous/topical 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.

Molecule Class

NP339 is a novel, potent synthetic antimicrobial peptide (AMP) generated from NovaBiotics rational drug design technology platform. Specifically, NP339 is a poly-Arginine based cationic peptide. Individuals who are susceptible to fungal infection either cannot produce their own AMP (the body's own natural infection fighting agents) or the AMP they do produce are ineffective for some reason. NP339 is a 'supercharged' replacement for these natural AMP.

Mechanism of Action

NP339 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. NP339 is equally effective against pathogens that are resistant/insensitive to conventional antifungals and drug-sensitive strains. Importantly, NP339 has a mechanism of action that is specific only to fungal cells, is not toxic to human cells (a major issue with conventional/existing antifungal classes) and has a placebo-like safety profile.