BROOKLYN, N.Y., Dec. 06, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AzurRx BioPharma Inc. (NASDAQ:AZRX) (“AzurRx” or the “Company”), a company specializing in the development of non-systemic, recombinant therapies for gastrointestinal diseases, announced today that it has reached an agreement in principle with TransChem, Inc. to license TransChem's proprietary transition state chemistry technology for MTAN inhibition.
MTAN plays a key role in bacterial quorum sensing. Specifically, MTAN (methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase) disrupts the synthesis of autoinducers essential for bacterial quorum sensing. The absence of nucleosidase in mammals suggests that MTAN is likely to be an attractive target for antimicrobial design. While the proposed TransChem license is intended to cover a range of compounds and bacterial species specific targets, at this time, the Company’s initial focus for research and development is H. Pylori and its ability to form biofilms.
Thijs Spoor, President and CEO of AzurRx BioPharma, Inc. , stated, “We believe this technology will enable us to tackle one of the major frontiers in medicine, the impact of bacterial biofilms on humans. This proposed license from TransChem will be a step forward in positioning AzurRx BioPharma to become a significant player in the development of non-systemic therapies for gastrointestinal and infectious diseases. We look forward to entering into a definitive license agreement for this groundbreaking technology in the coming weeks as we believe that the addition of these compounds to our portfolio potentially will allow us to drive transformational benefits to patients and the health care system."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, two-thirds of the global population is infected with the Heliobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria, in the U.S. H. pylori causes more than 90% of duodenal ulcers and up to 80% of gastric ulcers, and infected persons have a 2-6 fold increased risk of developing gastric cancer compared with uninfected counterparts. According to Persistence Market Research, the global peptic ulcer drug market is expected to reach $40 billion by 2022, with North America and Europe accounting for 67% of this market.
About Transition State Chemistry
The transition state is the moment at which the chemical bond either breaks or reforms. It is the exceedingly short time during which there is an equal probability of moving atoms to form new products or returning them to their original configuration. By replicating a shape that exists for the femtosecond lifetime of the transition state, and creating a chemical copy of that shape, it becomes possible to completely halt the action of the enzyme and freeze an enzymatic reaction. These synthetic mimics are called "transition-state analogs," which have shown extremely high potency in pre-clinical models. Because of their specificity and potency, transition-state analogs provide a novel approach that could revolutionize drugs development.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's milestone approval in 2001 of the first MTAN inhibitor, imatinib, was followed by a steady approval of MTAN inhibitors over the next 10 years. To date, the FDA has approved 28 small-molecule MTAN inhibitors, half of which were approved in the last 3 years.
About AzurRx BioPharma, Inc.:
AzurRx BioPharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:AZRX) is engaged in the research and development of non-systemic biologics for the treatment of patients with gastrointestinal disorders. MS1819 recombinant lipase for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is the company's lead development program, and additional early stage research is being conducted for the prevention of hospital-acquired infections. The company is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, with scientific operations based in Langlade, France. Additional information on the company can be found at www.azurrx.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigations Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, any statements relating to our product development programs and any other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that could negatively affect our business, operating results, financial condition and stock price. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from management's current expectations include those risks and uncertainties relating to the regulatory approval process, the development, testing, production and marketing of our drug candidates, patent and intellectual property matters and strategic agreements and relationships. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in our expectations or any changes in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based, except as required by law.