NovaBiotics Awarded £1.8m in Small Business Research Innovation-Innovate UK grant funding

NovaBiotics Ltd (NovaBiotics), which is backed by a number of Scottish Business Angel Groups, has secured £1.8 million in grant funding as part of a Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) research competition aimed at tackling antimicrobial resistance in humans. The funding is to further develop Novamycin, NovaBiotics’ first-in-class antifungal compound with potential to combat life threatening and drug resistant blood stream and tissue fungal infections.

There is a clear and urgent need for new antifungal treatments for serious and life threatening fungal infections. Novamycin is active against fungi, including drug resistant forms, for which existing therapies do not work. Novamycin also has a unique mechanism of action that mitigates opportunities for resistance in fungi developing in the future. Novamycin is highly differentiated from existing antifungal treatments (of which there are only three main classes versus a dozen or so classes of antibacterial therapy) in how it rapidly kills its target fungi. Novamycin is also not associated with the potentially serious toxicity issues posed by some currently available antifungal treatment options. This is because its provenance is the natural antifungal defence system employed by the body and so unlike other antifungal agents that do not always distinguish healthy human cells from a fungal pathogen, Novamycin has no off-target pharmacology.

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