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CURx buys rights to Gilead’s lung infection drug

Agrees deal for fosfomycin/tobramycin combination

CURx PharmaceuticalsCURx Pharmaceuticals has acquired the rights to Gilead Sciences' investigational drug for a lung infection associated with cystic fibrosis.

San Diego-based CURx, which specialises in developing late-stage treatments in areas of high unmet medical need, will further develop and commercialise a liquid combination fosfomycin/tobramycin for inhalation using an aerosol device.

The therapy has already completed a phase II trial in cystic fibrosis patients who acquire the Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection, and is now ready for phase III development.

It adds to CURx' existing limited portfolio, which so far includes an intravenous version of topiramate licensed from Ligand Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of epilepsy patients who are hospitalised and cannot take oral treatment.

Topiramate is also sold by Johnson & Johnson as an oral epilepsy drug known as Topamax and it is one of two active ingredients in Vivus' weight loss drug Qsymia, alongside phentermine.

The active ingredients in CURx' latest purchase are also available in current treatments. Tobramycin is an antibiotic that is marketed by Novartis to treat the Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection in both a nebulised and dry powder version, while fosfomycin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which has been sold under the trade name Monurol.

CURx hopes that a combination of these products will provide cystic fibrosis patients with another option, however, with the Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection a serious problem for people with the disease.

Dr Drucy Borowitz, director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center of Western New York, commented: "If further studies confirm that [the treatment] is safe and efficacious it will be a significant addition to improving the health of people with cystic fibrosis."

Dinu Sen, CEO and founder of CURx, said that fosfomycin/tobramycin for inhalation also has potential beyond the specific Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection.

“Future trials may pave the way for its use against a range of bacterial infections in CF - there is an unmet need for antibiotics with such characteristics,” he said.

Article by
Thomas Meek

21st February 2014

From: Research, Sales

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