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Q2 Pharma enters option to license Case Western research for fighting antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: April 5th, 2017

Israeli biopharmaceutical company Q2 Pharma has entered into a two-year option agreement with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) to license potential treatments for “superbug” bacterial infections.

Led by Menachem Shoham, associate professor of biochemistry at CWRU, the research is the first known effort of its kind. The targeted superbugs are bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics, leaving clinicians with fewer and fewer effective treatments.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over two million Americans are affected by superbug infections every year, causing tens of thousands of deaths. Some experts predict that by 2050, without any innovative solutions, the death toll could exceed that of cancer or heart disease. Currently, the infections cost as much as $20 billion in extra health care spending each year.

“Superbugs threaten to undo many of the enormous health advances brought about by the development of antibiotics since penicillin,” says Shoham. “Our work represents a game changer to address this mounting problem.”

Shoam and his research team have patented non-antibiotic compounds that prevent disease-causing toxins from forming in bacteria. Because the compounds don’t threaten the survival of the bacteria itself, there is little chance that resistance will occur. So far, no resistance has been observed whatsoever.

The CWRU Technology Transfer Office coordinated the two-year licensing option with Q2 Pharma, which will enable human testing of the technology. “We have been supporting the intellectual property around this innovative technology since its inception through patents and by assisting with various funding opportunities,” says CWRU licensing manager Stephanie Weidenbecher. “We are excited to have found a partner in Q2 Pharma to further develop the technology.”

Source: EurekAlert!

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