VCs and government back new drug to fight tuberculosis | Central regions, Finance, business MarchmontNews.com

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VCs and government back new drug to fight tuberculosis

10 Oct '17
A private-public consortium of Russian investors has supported the development of a new drug to fight an advanced form of tuberculosis that shows resistance to multiple therapies. The innovation comes from MT-Medicals, a resident company at Russia’s Skolkovo Technopark outside Moscow. The consortium that has anted up a total of $772,000 in a one-off investment consists of Primer Capital, a biotech-focused VC fund, the federal Ministry of Education and Science, and a yet-unspecified private investor, Primer Capital told Marchmont News.

MT-Medicals has come up with a high-specificity inhibitor of the P450 cyt c group enzymes that are responsible for keeping pathogenic mycobacteria alive and active. According to Primer Capital, none of the tuberculosis drugs that are currently used can target these enzymes.

“As a result of this project, we’ll bring about a brand new drug candidate of high efficacy for targeted tuberculosis therapy with fewer side effects. Using the P450 M.tuberculosis inhibitor is expected to help dramatically improve the existing procedures for combinatory medication to treat the forms of tuberculosis that are resistant to drugs, thus paving the way for further personalization of this kind of therapy,” Primer Capital executive director Elizaveta Rozhdestvenskaya said.

The recent investment will be used to conduct preclinical trials, develop a range of analytical quality testing methods, and create a marketable form of the new medicine.

According to the most recent World Health Organization (WHO) report, 10.4 million new tuberculosis cases were identified across the globe back in 2015. The incidence of tuberculosis with multiple drug resistance was found to grow rapidly, with almost half of such cases identified in Russia, China and India.