Funding from a U.S.-Israeli fund will support advanced preclinical and Phase I testing.

Fast-Track Drugs & Biologics and Atox Bio, a spin-out of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, won a $575,000 grant to support development of Atox’ candidate for sepsis and septic shock.

The money comes from the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) fund. It is expected to cover advanced preclinical studies and a Phase I trial at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

AB103 is a short peptide designed to tone down excessive Th1 cytokine responses caused by sepsis virulence factors such as gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and superantigen toxins. Importantly, the peptide is designed to leave the basal Th1 response intact and so not compromise normal immune responses, Atox claims.

Atox says Eli Lilly’s Xigris®, the only approved adjunctive treatment for sepsis/septic shock, reduces mortality by some 6%, thus leaving a major unmet therapeutic need. AB103 originates from research at the Faculty of Medicine at the Hebrew University by Atox Bio’s co-founders, Drs Raymond Kaempfer and Gila Arad. They were awarded a $5.6 million Biofense Challenge Grant from the NIAID in 2005.

At the time, the award was the first of its kind made to an Israeli scientist and the largest competitive grant ever made to the Hebrew University from any source. Dr. Kaempfer’s earlier research leading up to the NIAID award was funded by the DOD and DARPA with a series of grants totaling over $6.5 million.

Related News on Sepsis/Septic Shock

Axis-Shield Acquires Rights to Develop Sepsis Diagnostic from Hansa Medical (June 15, 2009)
Molzym’s Broad-Spectrum PCR Test for Sepsis Sanctioned in Europe (Sep. 30, 2008)
Rules-Based Medicine Recieves Grant to Develop a Test for Neonatal Sepsis (Nov. 15, 2007)
Scientists Find Gene Expression Pattern Linked to Poor Survival in Pediatric Septic Shock (July 27, 2007)
Cepheid and bioMerieux Partner on Sepsis Test (Jan. 17, 2007)

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