AlgiPharma awarded four year grant from Norwegian Research Council

AlgiPharma has been awarded a four year grant from the Norwegian Research Council for the project “Tailored OligoG in the treatment of chronic infectious biofilms”. This study involving an international consortium will investigate microbial sources of raw material for AlgiPharma’s alginate technology and determine optimal oligomer length associated with specific known OligoG antimicrobial properties.

For further information, please contact:
Arne Dessen, Chairman of Board; arne.dessen@algipharma.com
Philip D. Rye R&D Director; phil.rye@algipharma.com

July 2013

Technology Strategy Board & Innovation Norway – New Funding Success 

A collaboration project initiated by AlgiPharma, together with leading experts in fermentation at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI, Redcar, UK), has secured funding (2.700.000 NOK) from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board and Innovation Norway for a feasibility study on microbial production of AlgiPharma’s promising new alginate oligomer drug candidate, OligoG. The 9 month study will focus on developing methods for the pilot scale microbial fermentation production of OligoG at CPI, with support from our partners at SINTEF, who provide the essential expertise in laboratory scale fermentation of alginates.

The alginate oligomer fermentation project, ALGIFERM, translates 20 years of academic research into an industrial scale feasibility study. The Centre for Process Innovation Ltd.(UK) is leading the scale-up, whereas AlgiPharma AS (Norway) needs the final product as an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient in its development of medicines for cystic fibrosis, COPD and chronic wounds, like diabetic foot ulcers. The biofilm disrupting and antibiotic potentiating technology that has been developed by AlgiPharma was recently published (Khan S., et al., Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012;56(10):5134-41). If the scale-up is successful it will facilitate the introduction of novel medicinal products to the market that will ease patient suffering and potentially reduce healthcare costs. In addition it will be a new tool in fighting multi-drug resistant bacteria. Both AlgiPharma and CPI will obtain help from SINTEF (Norway), in this innovative collaborative effort between Norwegian and English researchers.

The project is funded through a joint UK-Norwegian initiative between the Technology Strategy Board and Innovation Norway.

For further information, please contact:
Arne Dessen, Executive Chairman; arne.dessen@algipharma.com
Philip D. Rye R&D Director; phil.rye@algipharma.com

April 2013

The effect of alginate oligosaccharides on the mechanical properties of Gram-negative biofilms

Powell LC, Sowedan A, Khan S, Wright CJ, Hawkins K, Onsøyen E, Myrvold R, Hill KE, Thomas DW.
Biofouling. 2013 Apr;29(4):413-21. doi: 10.1080/08927014.2013.777954.

External link to Pubmed.gov

Abstract

The influence of a novel, safe antibiofilm therapy on the mechanical properties of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii biofilms in vitro was characterized. A multiscale approach employing atomic force microscopy (AFM) and rheometry was used to quantify the mechanical disruption of the biofilms by a therapeutic polymer based on a low-molecular weight alginate oligosaccharide (OligoG). AFM demonstrated structural alterations in the biofilms exposed to OligoG, with significantly lower Young’s moduli than the untreated biofilms, (149 MPa vs 242 MPa; p < 0.05), a decreased resistance to hydrodynamic shear and an increased surface irregularity (Ra) in the untreated controls (35.2 nm ± 7.6 vs 12.1 nm ± 5.4; p < 0.05). Rheology demonstrated that increasing clinically relevant concentrations of OligoG (<10%) were associated with an increasing phase angle (δ) over a wide range of frequencies (0.1-10 Hz). These results highlight the utility of these techniques for the study of three-dimensional biofilms and for quantifying novel disruption therapies in vitro.

For further information, please contact:
Philip D. Rye R&D Director; phil.rye@algipharma.com

April 2013

AlgiPharma awarded secured 2.700.000 NOK for joint UK/Norwegian innovation project

In collaboration with leading experts in fermentation at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI, Newcastle, UK), Algipharma has secured combined funding (2.700.000 NOK) from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board and Innovation Norway for pilot scale studies for production of its promising new alginate oligomer drug candidate. The funding also provides for continued support from SINTEF consolidating their key expertise in laboratory scale fermentation of alginates.

For further information, please contact:
Arne Dessen, Chairman of Board; arne.dessen@algipharma.com
Philip D. Rye R&D Director; phil.rye@algipharma.com

February 2013

NANO2021 NFR Program: Norwegian Research Council Funds AlgiPharma Consortium 9.750.000 NOK for advanced wound healing applications

AlgiPharma is part of a multi-disciplinary consortium that has been awarded funding from the Research Council of Norway (NANO2021 programme). The Research project called NanoHeal, led by the Paper and Fibre Research Institute (PFI), includes a range of international partners (NTNU, Faculty of medicine, Cardiff University, Swansea University and Lund University) investigating bio-compatible cellulose nanostructures for advanced wound healing applications.

For further information, please contact:
Philip D. Rye R&D Director; phil.rye@algipharma.com

October 2012

BIOTEK 2021 Funding Success 4.000.000 NOK

AlgiPharma together with FMC Biopolymer and SINTEF are part of the award winning research consortium co-ordinated by Dr. Gudmund Skjaak-Braek at the Norwegian National Biotechnology Institute (NTNU). AlgiPharma will receive four million Norwegian kroner (approx. 700.000 USD) over a 4 year period to fund its continuing research program in the development of its ground breaking alginate pharmaceutical. The consortium funding also allows NTNU and SINTEF to continue their critical basic research into alginate technologies, capitalizing on decades of experience and expertise at these institutions.

For further information, please contact:
Philip D. Rye R&D Director; phil.rye@algipharma.com

October 2012

Overcoming drug resistance with alginate oligosaccharides able to potentiate the action of selected antibiotics

Khan S, Tøndervik A, Sletta H, Klinkenberg G, Emanuel C, Onsøyen E, Myrvold R, Howe RA, Walsh TR, Hill KE, Thomas DW.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Oct;56(10):5134-41. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00525-12. Epub 2012 Jul 23.

External link to Pubmed.gov

Abstract

The uncontrolled, often inappropriate use of antibiotics has resulted in the increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, with major cost implications for both United States and European health care systems. We describe the utilization of a low-molecular-weight oligosaccharide nanomedicine (OligoG), based on the biopolymer alginate, which is able to perturb multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria by modulating biofilm formation and persistence and reducing resistance to antibiotic treatment, as evident using conventional and robotic MIC screening and microscopic analyses of biofilm structure. OligoG increased (up to 512-fold) the efficacy of conventional antibiotics against important MDR pathogens, including Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, and Burkholderia spp., appearing to be effective with several classes of antibiotic (i.e., macrolides, β-lactams, and tetracyclines). Using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), increasing concentrations (2%, 6%, and 10%) of alginate oligomer were shown to have a direct effect on the quality of the biofilms produced and on the health of the cells within that biofilm. Biofilm growth was visibly weakened in the presence of 10% OligoG, as seen by decreased biomass and increased intercellular spaces, with the bacterial cells themselves becoming distorted and uneven due to apparently damaged cell membranes. This report demonstrates the feasibility of reducing the tolerance of wound biofilms to antibiotics with the use of specific alginate preparations.

For further information, please contact:
Philip D. Rye R&D Director; phil.rye@algipharma.com

August 2012

Philip D. Rye and Astrid Hilde Myrset joins AlgiPharma

R&D Director: Philip D. Rye, PhD

Philip Rye (1962) came to AlgiPharma in 2012. Prior to joining the company Phil was head of Biology R&D at GE Healthcare, Oslo, where he was responsible for team leadership in understanding the pharmacology of novel in vivo imaging agents and interpreting the pathophysiology of cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases. Phil brings a wide range of skills and expertise spanning both academic research and commercial in vitro and in vivo diagnostic development. He gained his doctorate at the Department of Pathology at University of Leicester, UK in 1990. His postdoctoral research experience from UK and Norway includes glycoconjugate biochemistry, animal models, cell biology, and biochemistry. Phil also brings more than 11 years of experience in the diagnostics and pharmaceutical industry in both research and management roles and has been involved in the successful development and launch of molecular in vitro diagnostic tests. He is inventor/co-inventor on four patents and has 37 peer reviewed articles in international medical and biochemical journals.

Director for Clinical and Pre-clinical Research: Astrid Hilde Myrset, PhD

Astrid Hilde Myrset (1956) is a biochemist by training, and joined AlgiPharma in 2012. From 2008 – 2012 Astrid was the CEO of Omegatri AS, building a start-up company within the health segment, securing funding from investors in Norway and abroad, as well from Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Research Council. The work led to the successful development of two novel products to the process of scaling up, and involved extensive partnering for regulatory work, scale up and production. From 1994 to 2008 Astrid held various positions in R&D in the pharmaceutical industry (Nycomed – Amersham– GE), most recently global positions where she worked on strategy, innovation and knowledge management including project reviews, across functions, sites and geographies. Prior to this Astrid worked as a project leader, established a molecular biology lab and was involved in a range of projects in preclinical development. Astrid has an extensive network in the academia as well as the life science industry in Norway, is a member of the Board of MedCoast Scandinavia and of the Advisory board of Sintef Materials and Chemistry.

August 2012

AlgiPharma wins €4,6 million EUROSTARS grant

AlgiPharma has together with partners Smerud Medical Research and Simbec Research been awarded a EUROSTARS grant for a €4,6 million project.

July 2011

AlgiPharma wins research grant from CFF

AlgiPharma has received a research grant from CFF, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, to perform an in-vitro study of its proposed cystic fibrosis medicine. The grant is administered by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics Inc., a subsidiary of the CFF. The research shall be performed in the United Kingdom.

About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the leading organization devoted to curing and controlling cystic fibrosis. Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, USA, the Foundation funds CF research, has 80 chapter and branch offices throughout the United States, and supports and accredits a nationwide network of 115 CF care centers, which provide vital treatments and other CF resources to patients and families. For more information, visit www.cff.org.
To advance the search for a cure, CFF has invested nearly $230 million in promising scientific research in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries since 1998. As a result, the Foundation has nearly 30 potential therapies in its drug discovery and development pipeline. Any one of these could have a profound impact on the lives of people with cystic fibrosis.

For further information, please contact:
Yngvar P. Berg, CEO; yngvar.berg@algipharma.com

April 2011