Management Team Strengthened as Auspherix Drives New Class of Antibacterials Towards the Clinic

17 November 2016

Stevenage, UK – 17 November 2016 – Auspherix, the anti-infectives company meeting the urgent need for new antibiotics by developing a novel class of organogold antibacterials, today announced further strengthening of its Management team, with Dr Neil Miller transitioning to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), and the Company announcing two new appointments of Dr Richard Rutter as CSO and Dr Paul King as Head of Chemistry.

Dr Miller has served as CSO of Auspherix over the past 12 months, where he has been responsible for the Company’s antibiotic R&D programmes, having previously gained two decades of experience working at GlaxoSmithKline. In his role as CEO he will take on overall responsibility not only for driving Auspherix’s novel compounds through pre-clinical development and into the clinic, but also for extending the Company’s contacts with future potential investors and partners.

Auspherix Chairman Dr Roberto Solari said: “Neil has provided excellent hands-on scientific leadership as CSO. His proven expertise in drug discovery has been instrumental in focusing our R&D and driving our programmes forward. As CEO I am confident that he will continue to ensure scientific progress as well as to secure the finance and partnerships needed to give our innovative organogold antibiotics the best chance of success.”

In line with its R&D strategy, Auspherix has further strengthened its senior scientific team.

An expert pharmacologist and biologist with over 15 years of industry experience, Dr Rutter joins the Company as CSO with responsibility for leading and progressing its drug discovery programmes. Prior to his role at Auspherix, Richard was the Head of Biology at GlaxoSmithKline’s Neuroscience R&D Centre in Singapore. Previously, Richard was a Senior Research Biologist at Merck Sharpe and Dohme in the UK. Richard has a PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from the University of London, UK.

A medicinal chemist, Dr King joins Auspherix as Head of Chemistry bringing to the company over 15 years of experience in small-molecule drug discovery, working across multiple therapeutic areas. Prior to his appointment at Auspherix, Paul also held a number of positions at GlaxoSmithKline, including Team and Programme Leader in the Neural Pathways Discovery Performance Unit, Singapore. Paul has a PhD in Chemistry from Imperial College, UK and conducted post-doctoral research at the Scripps’ Research Institute, USA.

Welcoming Richard and Paul, Dr Neil Miller, CEO of Auspherix, said: “We believe our new class of organogold antibiotics has the potential to make a major contribution to the treatment of bacterial infections and are committed to diligently progressing our antibacterial pipeline, in order to help address the worldwide healthcare crisis of rising antibiotic resistance and the need to expand the repertoire treatment options. Auspherix will greatly benefit from the expertise that Richard and Paul bring to the Company.”

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Notes to Editors

About Auspherix Ltd

Auspherix Ltd has discovered a novel class of antibacterials based on its proprietary organogold chemistry platform. Its compound series show activity against a broad range of important Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including multidrug resistant (MDR) clinical isolates, with profiles consistent with their use as antibiotics in a number of indications with high unmet need and large market potential.

Based in Stevenage UK (in the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst facility), the Company was founded in late 2013 based on discoveries made at the ithree institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). The Company has raised AUS $2million in Seed investments (2013-2014) from Australia’s Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) and £6 million in Series A round (2015) from the MRCF and the UK’s Imperial innovations plc (AIM IVO).

For further information please visit www.auspherix.com

For more information please contact:

Media Relations – Instinctif Partners

Sue Charles / Gemma Howe / Rosanna Forrest

T: +44 (0)20 7457 2020

E: auspherix@instinctif.com  

Auspherix

Dr Neil Miller

T: +44 (0)1438 906755

E: neil.miller@auspherix.com  

Auspherix Shortlisted for Biotech and Money’s ‘Start-Up UK Company of the Year’ Award

Auspherix, an early stage anti-infectives company, today announces that it has been shortlisted for the ‘Start-Up UK Company of the Year’ category of the inaugural Biotech and Money 2016 Awards.

Auspherix was nominated for the award and selected as a shortlisted finalist for its focus on developing new antibiotics in the fight against antimicrobial resistance and its commitment to UK bioscience. It also recognised the fact that the company has raised significant investment, given its pre-clinical stage of development: Auspherix announced a £6 million financing in 2015 by its seed investor Brandon Capital and new investor Imperial Innovations plc. Auspherix was co-founded by Dr Dagmar Alber and serial entrepreneur Professor Ian Charles and has attracted an impressive board, management team and scientific advisory board.

The winner of the award will be selected during final voting during the Biotech & Money Assembly and Gala Awards Dinner being held in London on 6 September 2016. Other finalists in the Start-Up UK Company of the Year Award category are Autolus, Blue Earth Diagnostics, Freeline Therapeutics, Mereo Biopharma, NightStarX, Orchard Therapeutics, Oxford Antibodies, Precision Ocular and Puridify.  Information on the awards can be found here.

Dr Neil Miller, CSO of Auspherix, said: “It is great that our pioneering work in the fight against antimicrobial resistance is being recognised. It is a credit to our founders that they identified innovative ways to identify new classes or antibiotics and to our investors who have recognised and backed the promise in our discoveries.”

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Notes to Editors

About Auspherix Ltd

Auspherix Ltd has discovered a novel class of antibacterials with a profile suggestive of a novel mechanism of action and therefore offer the potential to address the rising global problem of resistance to current antibiotics. Its proprietary compound series show activity against a broad range of multidrug resistant (MDR) Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, with profiles consistent with their use as antibacterial drugs for a number of indications with high unmet need and large market potential.

Based in Stevenage UK (in the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst facility), the Company was founded in late 2013 based on discoveries made at the ithree institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). The Company has raised AUS $2million in Seed investments (2013-2014) from Australia’s Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) and £6 million in Series A round (2015) from the MRCF and the UK’s Imperial innovations plc (AIM IVO).

For further information please visit www.auspherix.com

For more information please contact:

Media Relations – Instinctif Partners

Sue Charles / Gemma Howe / Rosanna Forrest

T: +44 (0)20 7457 2020

E: auspherix@instinctif.com

Auspherix

Dr Neil Miller

T: +44 (0)1438 906755

E: neil.miller@auspherix.com

Auspherix Appoints Experienced Anti-Infectives Clinician to Scientific Advisory Board

4 July 2016

Auspherix, an early stage anti-infectives company, today announces that it has expanded its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with the appointment of highly experienced clinician, Professor William Hope.

William’s career to date has focused on research in antimicrobial pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, mathematic modelling of antimicrobial agents and individualisation of antimicrobial therapy.  He is an NIHR Clinical Scientist and Professor of Therapeutics and Infectious Diseases at The University of Liverpool, UK and was recently appointed as Chair in the Department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology at The University of Liverpool. A Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal College Pathologists of Australasia. He was previously Chair in Therapeutics and Infectious Diseases at The University of Manchester. He has a PhD in antimicrobial pharmacology from The University of Manchester.  Alongside his advisory role to Auspherix, William is also Scientific Advisor to the ESCMID Fungal Infection Study Group, Secretary to the EUCAST Antifungal Susceptibility Testing Sub-Committee and was recently appointed to the ICAAC Program Committee for Antimicrobial Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and General Pharmacology.

Founded in 2013, Auspherix is developing a new class of anti-bacterials with a unique profile suggestive of a novel mechanism of action.

Dr Neil Miller, CSO of Auspherix, said: “With his hands on clinical experience, and a depth of knowledge gained during his careers in the anti-infectives space, William’s input and guidance will make an invaluable addition to the insight and steer we get from our SAB as we progress our novel anti-bacterial drug candidates through pre-clinical development towards our first-in-human clinical trial.”

The Auspherix’s SAB is chaired by Professor Ian Charles, co-founder and previously CSO of the Company, and now Director of the Institute of Food Research/Quadram Institute. He has a strong focus on translational research and infectious diseases, and was previously co-founder and CSO of Arrow Therapeutics. As well as new member Professor William Hope, other SAB members are: Auspherix CSO Neil Miller; Auspherix Board member Dr Jared Silverman, VP of Research at VL32 and who contributed to the discovery of three novel antibiotics during his career within Cubist Pharmaceuticals; Dr Alan Naylor, an independent consultant and medicinal chemist with over 30 years of R&D experience within GlaxoSmithKline; and Professor David Livermore, Professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of East Anglia  and serves on the UK Government’s Antimicrobial Resistance & Healthcare Associated Infection Advisory Committee.

 

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Notes to Editors

About Auspherix Ltd

Auspherix Ltd has discovered a novel class of antibacterials with a unique profile suggestive of a novel mechanism of action and therefore offer the potential to address the rising global problem of resistance to current antibiotics. Its compound series show activity against a broad range of multidrug resistant (MDR) important Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial infections, with profiles consistent with their use as antibacterial drugs for a number of indications with high unmet need and large market potential.

Based in Stevenage UK (in the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst facility), the Company was founded in late 2013 based on discoveries made at the ithree institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). The Company has raised AUS $2million in Seed investments (2013-2014) from Australia’s Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) and £6 million in Series A round (2015) from the MRCF and the UK’s Imperial innovations plc (AIM IVO).

 

For more information please contact:

Media Relations – Instinctif Partners

Sue Charles / Gemma Howe / Rosanna Forrest

T: +44 (0)20 7457 2020

E: auspherix@instinctif.com

Auspherix

Dr Neil Miller

T: +44 (0)1438 906755

E: neil.miller@auspherix.com

 

Auspherix Welcomes O’Neill Report on Drug Resistant Infections

19 May 2016

Auspherix, an early stage anti-infectives company, today welcomes the O’Neill report on antimicrobial resistance “Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally” which calls for large pharmaceutical companies to participate in the development of new treatments. Research has almost halted in the past 25 years because antibiotics are expensive to develop and provide relatively small returns.

Dr Neil Miller, CSO of Auspherix said, “We chose to establish operations in the UK in order to access the pool of highly qualified scientific talent and to leverage the supportive environment for entrepreneurs and the biotech sector that the UK government has encouraged. Our lead programmes are making excellent progress and we believe the antimicrobial profile of our proprietary compound series offers enormous potential for the development of a new arsenal of drugs that will be required to treat the growing numbers of resistant bacterial infections.”

Read the full report here.

Management Update

Co-founder of Auspherix Ltd. and VP Biology, Dr Dagmar Alber, has left the business to pursue new opportunities. Dagmar’s expertise and passion has been pivotal to Auspherix’s success. We thank Dagmar for her contribution and wish her every success for the future.

Auspherix, as part of the BEAM Alliance, Signs Industry Declaration on Beating Antibiotic Resistance

Auspherix, an early stage anti-infectives company, today announces that it has signed the BEAM Alliance’s call to governements and industry to work in parallel to take comprehensive action against drug-resistant infections, launched today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  Full release below.

GLOBAL PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY CALLS ON GOVERNMENTS TO WORK WITH THEM TO BEAT THE RISING THREAT OF DRUG RESISTANCE

More than 80 leading international pharmaceutical, generics, diagnostics and biotechnology companies, as well as key industry bodies, have come together to call on governments and industry to work in parallel in taking comprehensive action against drug-resistant infections – socalled ‘superbugs’ – with a joint declaration launched today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The statement sets out for the first time how governments and industry need to work together to support sustained investment in the new products needed to beat the challenges of rising drug resistance.

The Declaration on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance – drafted and signed by 85 companies and nine industry associations across 18 countries1 – represents a major milestone in the global response to these challenges, with commercial drug and diagnostic developers for the first time agreeing on a common set of principles for global action to support antibiotic conservation and the development of new drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines. The industry is calling on governments around the world to now go beyond existing statements of intent and take concrete action, in collaboration with companies, to support investment in the development of antibiotics, diagnostics, vaccines, and other products vital for the prevention and treatment of drug-resistant infections.

In particular, the Declaration supports a continuation of efforts towards improved conservation of antibiotics, including a call for improved uptake of rapid point-of-care diagnostics to improve how antibiotics are prescribed, and changes to incentive structures within health systems that directly reward doctors, pharmacists and veterinarians for prescribing antibiotics in greater volumes.

In what the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance recognises to be a notable step for the industry, the signatory companies call on governments to work with them to develop new and alternative market structures that provide more dependable and sustainable market models for antibiotics, and to commit the funds needed to implement them. These mechanisms are needed to provide appropriate incentives (coupled with safeguards to support antibiotic conservation) for companies to invest in R&D to overcome the formidable technical and scientific challenges of antibiotic discovery and development. These include mechanisms to ensure that, where appropriate, the pricing of antibiotics more adequately reflects the benefits they bring; and novel payment models that reduce the link between the profitability of an antibiotic and the volume sold. An integral part of these models is a reduced need for promotional activity by companies.

As well as calling for continued progress by governments on these fronts, the Declaration sets out a commitment to further action on drug resistance by its signatories, which the Review warmly welcomes. These span across three broad areas:

  • Reducing the development of drug resistance. The companies commit to encouraging better and more appropriate use of new and existing antibiotics, including through work that supports the antibiotic stewardship principles set out by the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and via improved education of clinicians. This support extends to promoting more judicious use of antibiotics in livestock, as part of a ‘one health’ approach.
  • Increasing investment in R&D that meets global public health needs. Recognising the need to increase research into new antibiotics, diagnostics, vaccines and other alternative treatments, the companies commit to a continuation and extension of collaborative initiatives between industry, academia and public bodies to improve how R&D in the field is done and provide greater opportunities for the scientific barriers to antibiotic discovery to be overcome.
  • Improve access to high-quality antibiotics for all. In light of the gaps that remain in global access to our existing antibiotics and vaccines, and the importance of ensuring that new generations of products are available to all those who need them, the signatories commit to supporting initiatives aimed at ensuring affordable access to antibiotics in all parts of the world, at all levels of income.

By bringing together such a wide range of companies in this unprecedented way, the Declaration provides a valuable roadmap to guide further collaborative efforts between industry, governments and NGOs in the global fightback against AMR. The Review will continue to work to drive progress towards a series of key international milestones in 2016 – including likely discussions on AMR at the UN General Assembly and as part of China’s G20 programme in the autumn – and in support of progress against the WHO Global Action Plan on AMR. The Declaration will be updated every two years, to take account of the evolving global landscape of AMR and changing challenges and priorities. It remains open to accept new signatory companies and bodies at any time, with a complete list maintained on the Review on AMR’s website, www.amrreview.org/industry-declaration

1 This reflects the final confirmed number of signatories at the time of publication, and updates the figure used in earlier versions of this press notice.

Notes to Editors

About antimicrobial resistance

1. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the natural process by which bacteria and other microbes develop resistance to the drugs commonly used to treat them. Antimicrobials include antibiotics (which act only on bacteria), antivirals, antiparasitics and antifungals. The independent Review on AMR, chaired by the economist Lord Jim O’Neill, estimated in 2014 that without effective global action, the rise of AMR could claim 10 million lives globally each year by 2050, and result in a cumulative loss from global output of 100 trillion USD.

2. The growth of resistance to antibiotics represents a particular threat to modern healthcare. We rely on effective antibiotics to treat common infections and to ensure that other medical procedures (such a surgery or cancer chemotherapy) remain safe and routine, but a combination of scientific, regulatory and commercial challenges has meant that the discovery of new antibiotics in recent decades has failed to keep pace with the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections. Meanwhile, we face the dual problems of pervasive over-use and misuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobials in animals and humans in most parts of the world – something that exacerbates the development of drug resistance – and a lack of affordable access to antimicrobials in others.

About the Declaration

3. The Declaration by the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Diagnostics Industries on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance marks a major step forward in the global battle against the growing problem of AMR. It reflects and welcomes the progress towards a comprehensive global response to AMR made by governments over the past 18 months in major multilateral forums including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the G7, and the contribution to these efforts provided by the work of the Review on AMR and other key international organisations.

4. The Declaration has been signed by 85 companies (74 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and 11 diagnostics companies) and nine industry associations from 18 different countries. This final count reflects the number of signatory organisations at the point of launch, and updates the figure included in earlier versions of this press notice. The Declaration remains a living document, with signatories free to add or remove their endorsement at any time.

5. The Declaration text was collectively drafted and agreed by its signatory companies. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance is not a signatory to the Declaration but it has assisted its development and supports its aims. The Review has agreed to host the Declaration on its website (www.amr-review.org/industry-declaration – page live from Thursday, January 21) on behalf of the signatory companies.

About the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance

6. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance was commissioned by the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, in July of 2014 to address the growing global problem of drug-resistant infections. The Review has been exploring in detail the challenges associated with drug resistance over the past 18 months, working extensively with companies, NGOs and governments around the world to identify the interventions required to overcome these challenges and to reinvigorate antibiotic discovery and development. The Review will deliver its final report and recommendations by the 9 summer of 2016, and has so far published a series of interim reports looking at individual aspects of AMR.

7. The Review is Chaired by Lord Jim O’Neill and backed by the Wellcome Trust and the UK Government, although operates and speaks independently of both. Lord Jim O’Neill is also the current Commercial Secretary to HM Treasury, but chairs the Review in an independent capacity. He is an internationally published economist and until 2013 was Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, having previously been the organisation’s Head of Economic Research. The Wellcome Trust is providing part-funding for the work of the Review, and hosting the team at its London headquarters.