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Technology Strategy Board (Innovate UK) & Innovation Norway – New Funding Success

Building on the previous success with the AlgiFerm project, AlgiPharma, together with leading experts in fermentation at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI, Redcar, UK), FMC Biopolymer, and SINTEF have secured additional funding from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK) and Innovation Norway for further investigation on microbial production of AlgiPharma’s promising new alginate oligomer drug candidate, OligoG. The study will focus on developing methods for scaling-up microbial fermentation production of OligoG at CPI.

The project, ALGIPRO, is an innovative collaborative effort between Norway and the UK. It will translate over 20 years of academic research into an industrial scale production process for alginates. The Centre for Process Innovation Ltd. (UK) is leading the scale-up based on development by SINTEF (Norway). AlgiPharma AS (Norway) will use the product as the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient in its development of medicines for cystic fibrosis, COPD and chronic wounds. FMC Biopolymer (UK, Norway) will market the product in existing and new applications within the food and pharmaceutical markets. If successful ALGIPRO  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. 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

November 2014

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

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