Redx hails potential MRSA breakthough

LIVERPOOL-based drug development company has announced it has discovered a potentially important new antibiotic to fight MRSA.

The AIM-listed company said it had reached pre-clinical development stage with a new anti-infective compound designed to tackle the MRSA bacterium that causes potentially lethal infections in humans. Shares rose 10% to 113.5p on the news.

A statement said: “The discovery is a significant milestone for Redx’s commercial partnership with the NHS, working with The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust. This is the third Redx program to identify a drug development candidate since the beginning of the year.”  

The company claims its new compound demonstrates “excellent oral efficacy” and has the potential to be easily administered both in the wider community and in a hospital setting.  This is in contrast to current treatment for MRSA, which typically requires in-hospital treatment with antibiotics available only in an injectable form.

The next stage of development will see the compound undergo pre-clinical testing managed by Redx. Following this, the new candidate will go into clinical development at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, where it will be tested in humans at the Covance-Royal Liverpool University Hospital Clinical Research Unit.

Once clinical proof of concept is reached, Redx will be responsible for the onward licensing of the drug to a pharmaceutical partner for further development and commercialisation.

Chief executive Dr Neil Murray, said: “We’re very excited by the possibilities presented by the discovery of this compound, which could have global implications in the fight against drug resistant infections. The lack of new drugs to target drug-resistant infections is a critical issue, as is finding more efficient ways to administer them to patients.

“Our collaboration with the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust has been very productive so far and demonstrates the benefits to be gained by the NHS and industry of working in partnership to tackle this very complex global threat. We look forward to a deepening relationship as our new compound makes the transition into human testing.”

Aidan Kehoe, chief executive of the hospital trust, added: “This is a huge step forward in the fight against antibiotic resistant infections, in particular drug resistant MRSA, that has significant implications for how hospitals provide safer care for patients.

“Our work with Redx highlights how the development of new compounds such as this can be made faster and significantly cheaper, whilst providing our patients with access to the very latest drugs and treatments.

“This is also excellent news for the city of Liverpool and our future plans towards making Liverpool a hub for world class research that will help us improve healthcare for patients in Liverpool and beyond.”