AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- XBiotech announced today that it has completed discovery and has begun pre-clinical development of a new True Human™ antibody therapy for methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The new antibody therapy is expected to be effective at neutralizing drug resistant staphylococcus infection by circumventing key immune evasion strategies of the bacteria, thereby facilitating natural clearance of the bacteria by the patient's own immune system. The Company believes that the therapy could represent a breakthrough in the management of infectious disease. XBiotech reports that the MRSA antibody came out of its True Human™ antibody discovery program for identifying and cloning pharmacologically relevant antibodies from human donors. XBiotech expects this product candidate to enter human clinical trials next year.
One-third of the world's population is believed to have S. aureus bacteria present on or in their bodies (particularly nasal cavities). It is estimated that 2.7% of these cases are MRSA strains which, under certain situations, can cause severe infections such as so called "flesh-eating" disease, necrotizing pneumonia, infective endocarditis, or more commonly impetigo, cellulitis and abscesses. In the US, community acquired MRSA infections have been reported to occur in 25.7/100,000 persons annually, whereas with respect to nosocomial infections, as many as 60% have been reported to be MRSA. Lethal MRSA infections have increased dramatically, killing 30-fold higher numbers of patients in the UK in 2006 compared to just over a decade earlier.
The Company's CEO, John Simard said, "To date, XBiotech has made significant strides on the discovery and development of anti-inflammatory antibodies. We are now truly excited about the possibility of revolutionizing the management of infectious disease through the use of shared natural immunity with True Human™ therapeutic antibodies. Needles to say, we are eager to see this important therapy in the clinic."
XBiotech is leading the commercialization of biological therapies—including the discovery and development of True Human™ antibodies. The Company's lead product candidate—in Phase III clinical studies—is a novel, breakthrough treatment for advanced colorectal cancer. XBiotech has also developed manufacturing technology to reduce infrastructure needs, lessen capital requirements and reduce lead times for biological drugs, ushering in a new era for cost and development efficiency in the biopharmaceutical industry.