Kenta Biotech accelerates its clinical programs

There are numerous monoclonal antibodies to fight cancers and inflammatory diseases today but only a few to target infectious diseases. This seems strange when one thinks that antibodies are naturally our first line of defense against infections. Most of the time, our immune system is efficient but that is not the case in hospitals where patients may be immunodepressed and subject to nosocomial infections. Over 70% of the bacteria that cause hospital acquired infections are resistant to at least one of the antibiotics most commonly used.

Founded in 2006, Kenta Biotech is addressing that medical need, largely unmet because of antibiotics resistance. Started as a spin-off of vaccines company Berna Biotech, the company  grew quickly to 22 employees. It is developing eight fully human monoclonal antibodies with two moving into clinical trials. Hospitals acquired infections

Kenta’s lead compound has just met strong validation with very positive results for panobacumab, a fully human antibody to treat ventilated associated pneumonia caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (011 serotype) and given in combination with standard antibiotics. While the mortality rate is high for this infection, Kenta’s clinical study (phase IIa) shows impressive results. None of the patients receiving the full treatment course died in spite of a predicted mortality of 32%. “The study also confirms a faster clearance of the infections, 6 days earlier than the group treated with antibiotics only”, says Laurence Blazianu, Chief Business Officer at Kenta. “This translates into efficient cost saving because hospitalization is expensive.” Also Kenta will start a second clinical trial to fight staphylococcus aureus in 2011.

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