The PASTEUR Act

Two US lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill to create a new payment model to encourage drug developers to develop new classes of antibiotics.

It’s called the PASTEUR Act, which will facilitate upfront payments to companies in exchange for unlimited access to their antibiotics. In turn, drug makers can recover their costs and turn a profit, before selling large volumes of product. 

Relevant extracts include:

  • An antimicrobial drug developer can apply to receive a ‘critical need antimicrobial’ designation
  • Contracts will range from $750 million to $3 billion and will be paid out over a period of up to 10 years or through the length of patent exclusivity

Botanix Pharmaceuticals wholeheartedly welcomes this news. As we enter a critical period of R&D for our BTX 1801 antimicrobial resistance (AMR) platform, this is a significant endorsement of the immediate need for novel antibiotics and further evidence of the world’s most powerful pharmaceutical influencers prioritising expedited and significant expenditure in this space.

Read a summary of the bill here.

This new antimicrobial resistance network could boost Recce, Botanix and Next Science

Botanix Pharmaceuticals Executive Director, Matt Callahan, spoke with Stockhead about the global threat of antimicrobial resistance yesterday:

“The alarm bells have been going off the last five years (on antimicrobial resistance), but no one’s really believed that the global economy could be stopped and millions and millions of deaths could be caused by some kind of pathogen – but of course I think we all believe that now, sadly,” he said.

Read the full article here.

Australia’s first Antimicrobial Resistance Network forms to combat global health threat

Botanix welcomes, wholeheartedly, today’s news from MTPConnect announcing the formation of an Australian-first network to address the impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on human health.

The Australian Antimicrobial Resistance network – AAMRNet – was launched in response to urgent recommendations in a new report by MTPConnect, ‘Fighting Superbugs: A Report on the Inaugural Meeting of Australia’s Antimicrobial Resistance Stakeholders’.

Professor Geoffrey Coombs, member of the AAMRNet Steering Committee and President of the Australian Society for Antimicrobials, is involved in our BTX 1801 clinical study in Perth. We are fortunate to be collaborating with leaders in this sector to examine the full potential of our platform AMR product.

Addressing the impact of AMR is a foremost priority for our business. We look forward to supporting this network and contributing valuable clinical data to our combined efforts to address what is one of the most significant, pressing threats to global health.

Read more from MTPConnect here.

‘Superbugs’ a far greater risk than Covid in the Pacific, scientist warns

The emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), including drug-resistant bacteria, or “superbugs”, pose far greater risks to human health than Covid-19, threatening to put modern medicine “back into the dark ages”, an Australian scientist has warned, ahead of a three-year study into drug-resistant bacteria in Fiji.

“If you thought Covid was bad, you don’t want anti-microbial resistance,” Dr Paul De Barro, biosecurity research director at Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO, told The Guardian.

Read the full article on The Guardian here.

Experts Say Humans Are Living in an ‘Age of Pandemics’—and COVID Won’t Be the Last

Experts have warned that the COVID-19 pandemic might just be one in a series of increasingly frequent viral outbreaks, as the human species enters what they describe as “a pandemic era”.

Anthony Fauci, leading US immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and David Morens, a medical epidemiologist at NIAID, predict that widespread outbreaks of diseases and epidemics will only accelerate over the coming years as populations grow, societies expand and deforestation increases.

Read the full article on Vice here.

Botanix’s BTX 1801 proven to kill superbugs

Cannabinoid skincare company Botanix (BOT) has proven its BTX 1801 compound’s ability to treat and prevent surgical site infections (SSIs).

‘The company has released encouraging results from a study testing the formulation’s ability to eliminate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — known as MRSA or Golden Staph — from infected human skin explants.

Read the full article on The Market Herald here.

New antimicrobial data and conference presentation

Botanix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:BOT) has today shared a market update and new data pertaining to the BTX 1801 antimicrobial program, which is currently being studied as part of a Phase 2a clinical trial in Perth.  

The new data demonstrates BTX 1801 eliminates methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (‘MRSA’ or ‘Golden Staph’) from human skin explants infected with MRSA. It also confirms synthetic CBD’s novel mechanism of action, where treatment with CBD rapidly disrupts the bacteria’s membrane resulting in cell death.

The latest news was captured as part of a presentation shared by Botanix President and Executive Chairman, Vince Ippolito, for the ASX Small and Mid-Cap Conference today – which features a close-up look at the mechanism of action.

View the ASX Small & Mid-Cap Conference presentation:

The Botanix team is extremely encouraged by this new data and remains confident that BTX 1801 will be a valuable treatment option for the prevention of post-surgical infections, which are often serious and can be life-threatening. Addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) remains a foremost priority for the Company, alongside the  largest health agencies in the world.

NEW DATA | Time lapse videos – S.aureus treated with synthetic cannabidiol

Botanix Pharmaceuticals released promising new clinical data for its BTX 1801 antimicrobial platform and a supporting presentation today.

The results demonstrate how synthetic cannabidiol kills resistant bacteria quickly and effectively – specifically Staphylococcus aureus (‘S.aureus’  or‘MRSA’ or ‘Golden Staph’), which greatly increases the risks of serious and life-threatening infections following surgery when it is carried in the nasal passage.

The following time-lapse videos clearly show how synthetic cannabidiol kills bacteria by rapidly disrupting the bacterial cytoplasmic membranes in as little as 10 minutes. In both videos, the bacteria are initially surrounded by a green fluorescent dye and exclusion of the dye means the bacteria are alive and well, while uptake of the dye means that the bacteria’s cell membrane has been disrupted and they are dying.

Time lapse video – S.aureus treated with methanol

This time lapse video shows S.aureus treated with 2.5% methanol (negative control) and grown at room temperature on an agarose pad containing 0.25µM SYTOX-Green. Bacteria are happy and rapidly multiplying over the 120 minutes, with no uptake of the dye.

Time lapse video – S.aureus treated with synthetic cannabidiol

This time lapse video shows S.aureus treated with with synthetic cannabidiol and grown at room temperature on an agarose pad containing 0.25µM SYTOX-Green. In contrast to the first video, bacteria immediately start to die, as evidenced by the rapid uptake of dye and disintegration of bacteria.

To learn more about our ongoing clinical research in the area of antimicrobial resistance, please subscribe to receive our latest news HERE.

The marketplace for new antibiotics is fundamentally broken

One of the mysteries of COVID-19 is why it kills some patients while sparing others with similar health profiles.

The answer to this will not prove singular, of course. But research published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet found that 50% of hospitalized patients who died of COVID-19 also had secondary bacterial infections. Some patients contracted these fatal infections from the very intensive care unit (ICU) ventilators that were intended to save them.

Read the full opinion editorial – written by President and CEO of Venatorx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – on The Inquirer here.

Drug study will use synthetic cannabidiol to fight antimicrobial resistance

Addressing antimicrobial resistance is a pressing priority for the largest health agencies in the world, so Botanix is optimistic in its efforts to proactively navigate these challenges.

Recruitment has today commenced in Perth for a Phase 2a study of Botanix’s antimicrobial platform product BTX 1801 to evaluate its safety, tolerability and efficacy for the prevention of surgical site infections.

The Phase 2a clinical study has been designed to evaluate two formulations of BTX 1801 to decolonise Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA or ‘Golden Staph’) from the nose of healthy adults. Nasal carriage of Staph and/or MRSA greatly increases the risks of serious and sometimes life-threatening infections following surgery, as patients essentially infect themselves. 

Botanix is working with a team of specialist clinical investigators, led by Murdoch University’s Chair of Public Health and Chair of the Australia Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, Professor Geoffrey Coombs. 

Read the Murdoch University news article here.