Company News: Curetis’ Subsidiary Ares Genetics Teams Up with Leading Global Pharma Company in Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance
— Strategic collaboration agreement with Sandoz to develop digital anti-infectives platform
— Collaboration leverages Ares Genetics’ antibiotic resistance database ARESdb
— Short-term focus on repurposing existing antibiotics to treat infections with multi drug resistant pathogens
Curetis N.V. (the “Company” and, together with its subsidiaries, “Curetis“), today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Ares Genetics GmbH signed a collaboration agreement with Sandoz to leverage Ares Genetics’ database on the genetics of antibiotic resistance, ARESdb, and the ARES Technology Platform for Sandoz’ anti-infective portfolio.
Under the agreement, the companies intend to develop a digital anti-infectives platform combining established microbiology laboratory methods with advanced bioinformatics and artificial intelligence methods to support drug development and life cycle management. The collaboration in the short- to mid-term aims at rapidly and cost-effectively re-purposing existing antibiotics and designing value-added medicines with the objective of expanding indication areas and overcoming antibiotic resistance, in particular in infections with bacteria that already developed resistance against multiple treatment options. Longer-term, the platform is expected to inform the development of novel anti-infectives that are less prone to encounter resistance and thereby preserve antibiotics as an effective treatment option.
The collaboration agreement covers the first phases of the collaboration with Sandoz providing certain R&D funding to Ares Genetics. Further financial details were not disclosed.
“Together with Sandoz, we are working on informing drug positioning and life cycle management using big data and artificial intelligence approaches in combination with experimental data and our extensively curated reference database on antibiotic resistance”, said Dr. Andreas Posch, Managing Director & CEO of Ares Genetics. “We believe that our approach can substantially and cost-effectively help in overcoming antibiotic resistance with existing drugs as well as developing new drugs that are less prone to encounter resistance.”
“The collaboration between Sandoz and Ares Genetics is a great example how the Curetis Group expanded its offerings for pharmaceutical industry partners in the anti-infectives space”, explained Dr. Achim Plum, Chief Business Officer of Curetis and Managing Director of Ares Genetics. “Our offerings range from data-driven approaches to antimicrobial drug development and life cycle management by Ares Genetics to customized rapid diagnostic test panels for enhanced clinical trial enrollment and companion diagnostics based on Curetis’ Unyvero Platform.”
The spread of antibiotic resistance, particularly among pathogens that are resistant to multiple drugs is one of the key challenges of global healthcare systems. It is currently estimated to cause 700,000 deaths worldwide and projected to claim more lives than cancer by 2050 if no decisive action is taken. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics in healthcare and agriculture is seen as major causes of the rapid emergence of resistance even against novel drugs. Approaches to fight antibiotic resistance include a more targeted and informed use of available antibiotics through rapid diagnostics, repurposing and novel combinations, as well as the development of antibiotics that are less prone to encounter resistance. To counteract antibiotic resistance, Ares Genetics has recently launched the ARES&CO Pharma Partnering Program supported by the Vienna Business Agency, as well as the The Digital Microbe R&D Program supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).