- The AGIR program, supported by the French Investments for the Future program, aims to accelerate new antibiotics discovery to tackle the global challenge of antibiotic resistance.
- The 2nd milestone of this research program included the screening of a growing number of strains, the validation of the automated tools developed by DEINOVE and the identification of some thirty "hits".
- The results obtained validate this stage and lead to a payment of €1.5m from Bpifrance.
DEINOVE (Euronext Growth Paris: ALDEI), a French biotech company that uses a disruptive approach to develop innovative antibiotics and bio-based active ingredients for cosmetics, announces that it has successfully completed the second key milestone of the AGIR program - Antibiotics against Resistant Infectious Germs - which is supported by the Investments for the Future Program. This milestone triggered the payment of €1.5m.
The AGIR program aims to explore the antimicrobial potential of rare bacterial strains with the objective of identifying new antibiotic structures and developing innovative treatments to address the health challenge of increasing antimicrobial resistance.
"As illustrated by the current coronavirus crisis, infections, whether bacterial or viral, are now rapidly becoming global. It is important to prevent these health emergencies, and to ensure that common infections won’t become lethal again. This risk is increased by the rise in antibiotic resistance. However, only about 40 antibiotics are currently in clinical development, and only 1 out of 4 drugs in the pipeline represent a novel drug class or mechanism of action*. It is becoming urgent to discover new antibacterial treatments," says Charles Woler, CEO of DEINOVE.
The challenge of AGIR is to accelerate the screening of antibiotic activities of multiple strains under various conditions in order to quickly detect new antimicrobial structures. The first stage of the program led to the development of a robotic platform. The second stage addressed several components:
- Significant increase of the bacterial collection: more than 2,000 additional strains have been integrated through targeted harvesting and partnerships;
- Analysis of antimicrobial activities: 2,000 strains have been screened; 500 active extracts have been identified;
- Hit detection and identification: analysis of the most promising extracts has led to the detection of around 30 hits. The characterization enables the identification of potential new bioactive molecules, previously unknown. The work in progress aims at optimizing the production of these molecules;
- Validation of the tools developed: the techniques for strain screening, identification and purification of the active entities have been optimized to gain in speed, sensitivity and efficiency.
Under the terms of the collaborative research program selected in 2017 by the Investments for the Future Program, this achievement resulted in the validation of the 2nd milestone of the AGIR program and the payment of €1.5m in repayable advances and subsidies.
"The AGIR Program is moving forward simultaneously on two fronts: discovering new antibiotic structures and developing robust tools to accelerate the analysis of thousands of bacteria in an intelligent way to increase the chances of finding these new antibiotics. We're not just looking for new treatments, we're developing new ways of searching," says Guillaume Brandt, Pharmaceutical Development Officer at DEINOVE, and Project Manager of AGIR.
* The PEW charitable trusts – Sept. 2019 Read the report