MerLion and UK's DSTL to test finafloxacin against biological threat agents


The UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and Singapore’s MerLion Pharmaceuticals have secured a grant from the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Chemical and Biological Defense Program to explore the use of finafloxacin against biological threat agents.

Titled ‘Efficacy of finafloxacin against biological threat agents’, the joint project between DSTl and MerLion will study the efficacy and safety of treating infections caused by the biological threat agent Burkholderia pseudomallei (B. pseudomallei) with MerLion’s fluoroquinolone finafloxacin.

The multi-year, multi-phase project will also investigate the use of finafloxacin against other intracellular bio-threat agents, such as francisella tularensis (F. tularensis) and yersinia pestis (Y. pestis), and other multi-drug resistant (MDR) pathogens of clinical significance.

"The new project will enable us to investigate the activity of finafloxacin against a variety of very difficult-to-treat pathogens in more detail."

MerLion CEO David Dally said: “We already have compelling pre-clinical results generated in the collaboration with our partners from DSTl for finafloxacin’s activity against various bio-threat pathogens, as well as data from our positive clinical studies treating patients with cUTI infections.

“The new project will enable us to investigate the activity of finafloxacin against a variety of very difficult-to-treat pathogens in more detail and will help to position finafloxacin as an effective therapy against multiple bioterrorism threats, as well as a treatment for other life-threatening infections.”

MerLion’s finafloxacin is said to act powerfully against two bacterial molecular targets and its rapid bactericidal effect is further enhanced by its activity in the acidic environment found at most sites of bacterial infection.

Finafloxacin has already demonstrated strong and rapid-onset activity against B. pseudomallei, F. tularensis and other intracellular bio-threat pathogens, MerLion stated.