GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) (GSK) has recently entered into a collaborative agreement with Fimbrion Therapeutics, Inc. to develop a small molecule drug for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Under the partnership, the two companies will mainly work on a joint project between GSK Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) and Fimbrion Therapeutics. The joint project will focus on the preclinical development of a class of mannosides, which are mannose-containing small molecule compounds. Mannose is a type of sugar.
Scott Hultgren and James Janetka, Fimbrion Therapeutics Founders, joined efforts in 2009 to develop new classes of mannosides for the prevention and treatment of UTIs.
Carolyn Buser-Doepner, GSK DPAc Global Head, has expressed on behalf of GSK her delight about strategically teaming up with Fimbrion, leveraging the expertise of both companies when it comes to mannoside development and drug discovery. She has also taken pride in the collaboration being the first of its kind— with a biotechnology startup— for GSK.
The strategic partnership will help Fimbrion attain its goals of developing and commercializing an orally active drug for the prevention and treatment of UTIs.
Preventing, Treating UTIs
Bacterial infection treatment options have become limited over time due to the heightened rise in antibiotic resistance. Presently, UTIs rank third when it comes to indications common for antibiotic therapy.
Mannosides can potentially prevent and treat UTIs without the need for antibiotics. They can pave the way for new treatment options for bacterial infections as they enable the body to rid infections naturally.
“This and other types of antibiotic-sparing therapeutics will be essential to prevent and treat increasingly prevalent infectious disease syndromes caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens,” explained Hultgren.
In other recent news, GSK has already submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a Biologics License Application (BLA) for Shingrix, a potential non-live, recombinant shingles vaccine, for the prevention of shingles among adult patients aged 50 years old and up.
The submission is backed by Phase III clinical trial showing that the candidate can minimize the overall occurrence of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN).
GSK declined 0.88% to $40.32 on Tuesday’s session.