(2nd Dec 2009) Chaperone Technologies and MerLion Pharmaceuticals in Antimicrobials Collaboration

Contact: Chaperone Technologies (1 610) 644 2200
  MerLion Pharmaceuticals (65 6) 829 5600

Chaperone Technologies and MerLion Pharmaceuticals in Antimicrobials Collaboration

East Stroudsburg, PA and Singapore – December 2, 2009 Chaperone Technologies, Inc. and MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd., both privately-held companies developing new antimicrobial drugs, announced today that they are together evaluating a unique approach for the treatment of resistant and life-threatening bacterial infections.

Utilizing novel broad-spectrum small molecule antimicrobials developed by Chaperone Technologies that work by inhibiting bacterial hsp70, an entirely new mechanism of action, the two companies are evaluating an approach that uses Chaperone’s compounds combined with MerLion’s finafloxacin, a  pH activated fluoroquinolone antibacterial  which has demonstrated an excellent safety profile in man. Finafloxacin is currently being evaluated in Phase II clinical trials in hospital and critical care indications in which acidic foci and inflammation play a role in producing an environment that is optimal for the activity of finafloxacin.  Chaperone’s drug candidates have been proven effective against dangerous bacteria such as MRSA, acinetobacter, and vancomycin resistant enterococci.  When combined with other antibiotics, Chaperone’s compounds stimulate powerful antibiotic synergy, providing superior efficacy even while using significantly lower doses of the combined agents.  Chaperone holds a patent on this unique approach of antimicrobial synergy using its compounds in combination with any other antibiotic. 

“MerLion’s finafloxacin is an exciting drug which holds clinical promise for a range of  bacterial infections,” says Kenneth Kovan CEO of Chaperone Technologies.   “The belief is that using our combination approach may lead to broader applications and utilities.”  Says Dr. William Stubbings, Deputy Director Non-Clinical Development at MerLion Pharmaceuticals “At a time when bacterial resistance to existing antimicrobial agents is increasing, the development of more effective agents and approaches is especially important.  Effective bacterial killing using such combination therapies may provide unique opportunities to potentially help minimize the mutation of bacteria, the spread of resistant strains, and also lower the side effects present in some current antimicrobials” 

MerLion Pharma is a privately held R&D company headquartered in Singapore, with clinical development operations based in Berlin, Germany.  The company is organised into two key business units, MerLion Research and MerLion Development.  In addition to finafloxacin, the company has a portfolio of earlier-stage, preclinical antibacterial and oncology programmes.

Chaperone Technologies is a drug discovery company located in East Stroudsburg PA (USA) and a leader in hsp70 inhibition.  The company is pursuing combination approaches and monotherapies for resistant gram negative and gram positive infections, and has a program with the Department of Defense to develop therapeutics for use against selected biothreat pathogens.