Amprologix Limited, a University of Plymouth spinout company, has won a £1.2 million contract from the Department for Health and Social Care to accelerate development and scale up its lead antibiotic candidate to tackle antimicrobial resistant MRSA and related superbugs.
Amprologix was established in 2018 to commercialise the work of Mathew Upton, Professor of Medical Microbiology in the University’s Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine (ITSMed).
The company has now been awarded funding by the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), part of Innovate UK, to make its epidermicin NI01 antibiotic ready for the first phase of human clinical trials during early 2021. Amprologix’s first product is expected to be a nasal cream containing epidermicin NI01 to prevent MRSA infections.
Epidermicin is derived from bacteria found on human skin, and work conducted to date shows a single dose to be as effective as six doses of the current gold standard treatment in a relevant model of MRSA infection.
Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria kill more than 25,000 people a year in Europe. The drug-resistant ‘superbug’ MRSA was named last year as a “high priority” target for antibiotic research by the World Health Organisation and it is a leading cause of healthcare associated infection (HCAI).
Professor Upton initially developed the patented technology while at the University of Manchester, which owns an equity share in the company through UMI3 Ltd, its commercialisation arm. Frontier IP, the University’s commercialisation partner, holds a 10% stake in return for providing a range of commercialisation services.