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New funds to fight C. difficile

Graeme ThomsonGeneral News

A novel anti-bacterial agent which has been developed in Scotland by MGB Biopharma (MGB) for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infections, is to enter Phase II clinical trials following a newly-completed £1.3m fund raise from existing and new investors, supplementing a £2.7m grant awarded earlier this year by Innovate UK.

MGB’s lead drug, MGB-BP-3 was invented at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and will now be tested in patients for the first time in the fight against Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD). MGB-BP-3 is rapidly bactericidal against all strains (including hypervirulent strains) of Clostridium difficile, the bacterium responsible for the most cases of hospital-acquired infection in developed countries. MGB-BP-3 is seen as having the potential to improve global cure rates and become a new Gold Standard for the treatment of this debilitating and deadly disease.

The Phase II trial for MGB-BP-3 is expected to involve 30 patients, each of whom has been diagnosed with CDAD and will evaluate safety and tolerability, efficacy and in particular look for improvement in global (or sustained) cure rates.

The £1.3m funding round was led by Edinburgh-based Archangels, with co-funding from the Scottish Investment Bank -the investment arm of Scotland’s enterprise agencies, Barwell PLC and Melrose-based Tri Capital, and introduced crowdfunding investor, Syndicate Room, to the shareholder register for the first time.

Dr Miroslav Ravic, CEO and CMO of MGB Biopharma, said:

MGB Biopharma now has the funds with which to initiate our Phase IIa study in patients diagnosed with C. difficile Associated Disease (CDAD). We are already witnessing renewed interest in our new anti-bacterial agent and its trial in key medical centres in North America where CDAD is particularly prevalent. This offers opportunities both to progress the study rapidly and to attract increased attention to the results for this important trial.

Dr Sarah Hardy, Chief Investment Officer at Archangels, said:

“What MGB Biopharma is doing is extremely important in the global fight against C. difficile infections. We are proud to continue our support for the business and to facilitate further investment from our co-investors while introducing Syndicate Room to the business.”

Kerry Sharp, Director of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “We’ve invested in MGB since its creation and it’s fantastic to see the Phase II clinical trial start, which should demonstrate the potential of this anti-bacterial agent in saving lives across the globe.

Tom Britton of SyndicateRoom, who have invested in MGB Biopharma for the first time, said: “With antimicrobial resistance one the greatest challenges faced by society today, this new structural class of antibiotics could one day be saving millions of lives. We’re delighted to co-invest in MGB Biopharma alongside Archangels and have huge hope for this upcoming Phase IIa study and the compound Dr Ravic is developing.”