Antabio has administered the first dose of its antibiotic therapy for hospital acquired infections, to healthy volunteers in a Phase I trial.

MEM-ANT3310 is an antibacterial combination of meropenem (MEM) and Antabio’s novel broad-spectrum serine beta-lactamase inhibitor ANT3310.

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers antibiotic resistance to be one of the biggest threats to global health, causing longer hospital stays, higher medical costs, and increased mortality.

Antabio CEO Marc Lemonnier told Clinical Trials Arena that the company hopes by combining its proprietary drug [ANT3310] with the widely used MEM, it can increase the drug’s acceptance with regulators and clinicians, making it an effective alternative treatment option.

The Labège, France-based company is aiming to expand the clinical trial from the current site in France to include global representation. Initial funding for the development of MEM-ANT3310 of €5.5 million ($5.9 million) was received in 2022 from the French government through the “ARPEGE” program.

Lemonnier said that Antabio is in the process of raising a Series B financing which is expected to fund the development of  MEM-ANT3310 through to the Phase II data read-out, expected in 2026.

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When asked about the challenges of the current antibiotic market, especially the reluctance of big pharma to develop antibiotics due to lack of profitability, Lemonnier said “great drugs can be profitable,” highlighting the success of Pfizer’s Avycaz/Zavicefta.

Lemonnier added that the “lack of profitability of antibiotics is due to an abundance of “me-too drugs” and a lack of differentiation in an already challenging market.”

However, he added that new incentives, such as the EU’s antibiotic vouchers for novel antibiotics, and reimbursement models are needed as they may increase the profitability of novel and differentiated pipeline drugs.

Another MEM combination therapy in Antabio’s pipeline is, MEM-ANT2681, which is being developed for antibiotic resistant infections more commonly found in Asian countries. The company is looking for Asia based commercial pharma partners for this product Lemonnier said.

Update: This story was updated on 31.05.23. with clinical trial and financing details.