Australia’s Botanix (ASX:BOT) has partnered with the University of Queensland’s (UQ) Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) to accelerate the company’s BTX 1801 toward clinical trials.
BTX 1801 is a cannabidiol-based treatment with potential to “address unmet needs” in serious skin infections.
Among the activities during the collaboration will be an assessment of BTX 1801’s effectiveness against various antibiotic resistant organisms – including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Methicillin is a semisynthetic derivative of penicillin. MRSA has become resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections as a result of decades of improper and often unnecessary antibiotic use. If BTX 1801 proves effective against MRSA, it could be very important tool.
According to Botanix, 82% of pathogens identified in Acute Bacterial Skin and Skin Structure Infection (ABSSSI) patients are comprised of MRSA or methicillin sensitive staph aureus (MSSA).
“Antibiotic resistance is a significant global concern and we are excited about the potential prospects of BTX 1801 in this field,” said Dr. Mark Blaskovich, Principal Investigator and Program Coordinator at IMB.
Earlier this month, Botanix stated pre-clinical testing indicated its BTX 1801 formulation achieved high levels of bacteria killing effect. While cannabidiol has been demonstrated to be effective in killing bacteria, when combined with Botanix’s novel transdermal drug delivery system, Permatrex, this killing power is increased.
The research collaboration is being supported by an Innovation Connections Grant awarded to Botanix and UQ by the Federal Government’s department of AusIndustry.
“This demonstrates Botanix’s ability to secure non-dilutive funding to progress its product pipeline in parallel to the development of its lead acne and atopic dermatitis products,” said Botanix Founder and Executive Director, Matt Callahan.
Botanix is developing a number of treatments in the BTX family. Last year we mentioned the company had successfully completed a Phase 1 study of an acne treatment called BTX 1503, which is based on synthetic cannabidiol (CBD). In June this year, Botanix recruited the first patients for its BTX 1503 Phase 2 acne clinical trial. The trial involves approximately 360 patients in the USA and Australia who will be enrolled for a 12-week period and is expected to take 12 months to complete.