TaBriX, University and TB Alliance to develop drug-resistant tuberculosis treatments

TaBriX is a new spin-out company from The University of Manchester (UoM) with the mission to create novel anti-virulence drugs to fight difficult-to-treat infections. TaBriX’s initial focus is on the treatment of drug-resistant TB.

The team has developed a series of first-in-class anti-TB drug candidates with a novel mode of action. When used in combination with current TB therapies, these candidates have the potential to:

  • reduce multidrug-resistant infections
  • increase efficacy of current antibiotics by 50%
  • reduce treatment time and relapse

TaBriX and The University of Manchester are working in collaboration with TB Alliance to assess how effective these drug candidates are alone and in combination with the current standard of care.

TB Alliance is a product development partnership that envisions a world where no one dies of tuberculosis. Its mission is to discover, develop and deliver improved, faster-acting, and affordable tuberculosis drug regimens that are available to all who need them. Since its inception in 2000, TB Alliance has promoted the global search for and introduction of new TB regimens, catalysing the field and convening cross-sector partnerships to forge the progress that is urgently needed for better TB treatments.

“All patients with TB require access to highly effective, safe, simple and affordable treatments,” said Mel Spigelman, MD, President and CEO, TB Alliance. “This partnership with TaBriX and UoM will strengthen the pipeline for the next generation of therapies that can help bring an end to this deadly pandemic.”

Professor Lydia Tabernero, the founder of TaBriX, said: “Our vision is seeing a day when serious infections such as tuberculosis are eradicated, and with our drugs. we hope to make this goal an achievable reality.”

“We have developed small-molecule inhibitors that target critical virulence factors to treat TB, but there is the potential of applying this to a wider spectrum of microbial infections.”

“The collaboration with TB Alliance is critically important for the project and we welcome their involvement because they are at the forefront of innovation in the TB space.”

The biological processes targeted by TaBriX’s drug candidates are found in more than 50 other human microbial pathogens, including Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM), which cause serious pulmonary infections on the rise worldwide. TaBriX targets are also present in the priority list organisms of the World Health Organisation, responsible for drug-resistant infections. The TaBriX team has demonstrated that their compounds have activity against drug-resistant TB and NTM infections, and are building on this validation to unlock the potential application to other microbial infections in large markets.

Our vision is seeing a day when serious infections such as tuberculosis are eradicated, and with our drugs. we hope to make this goal an achievable reality
Professor Lydia Tabernero

The TaBriX team has been supported by the University of Manchester Innovation Factory, an organisation that works with UoM’s academic and student inventors to identify research that has the potential to create value. Once a project that can benefit society is identified, the Innovation Factory helps license the technology or assist with the formation of spin-out companies, as it did with TaBriX.

Andrew Wilkinson, CEO of the Innovation Factory, said: “We are very pleased to support the work Lydia is carrying out in her new University of Manchester spin-out, TaBriX Ltd. The approach the company is taking to tackle antibiotic resistant forms of the TB pathogen is really innovative. We believe that the creation of these new, small-molecule inhibitors that target critical survival factors in TB and other similar pathogens has the potential to create a new family of anti-infective therapeutics which are far less susceptible to the issue of drug-resistance.”

“With the support of the TB Alliance, TaBriX will further assess the potential of these compounds. The Innovation Factory is proud to be working with TaBriX and welcomes the collaboration with TB Alliance.”

Prof Tabernero continued: “One of the ways in which investors and philanthropists can help us eradicate TB and other difficult-to-treat infections, is to fund the development of our drug candidates to reach the clinic as soon as possible. We are close to dramatically changing the impact of these infections on humans, and we are hoping to speak to visionaries who share our dreams for a TB-free future.”

TB is a major health problem worldwide with 25% of the human population already infected with latent TB. Each year, about 10 million people develop active TB and 1.5m die of the disease. One of the main obstacles in the eradication of TB is antibiotic resistance, and there are roughly 500,000 new cases of drug-resistant TB per year.

Standard antibiotic treatments are long (6-18 months), toxic, and have limited efficacy which can lead to relapse and increase drug-resistance. There is a desperate need for new and better treatments, a challenge which TaBriX has accepted.

To find out more about TaBriX or to speak with the team about funding their work, visit www.uominnovationfactory.com/tabrix or email contact@uominnovationfactory.com. To learn about TB Alliance’s work to advance new regimens, visit www.tballiance.org or email communications@tballiance.org.

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