Rebiotics Rx is a startup company focused on repurposing of FDA approved antibiotics by innovative formulations to fight antibiotic resistant bacteria.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a leading global health threat jeopardizing the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. In addition, without effective antibiotics, the success of major surgery and cancer chemotherapy would be compromised. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that each year in the United States, at least two million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.
Indeed, major research efforts are invested in finding novel antibiotics to fight these bacteria. Still, introducing novel antibiotics from the lab to patients is a long and expensive process.
At Rebiotics Rx, we significantly simplify this development, making it faster and cheaper with increased chances of success. We identify existing antibiotics that are of limited use due to disadvantages that may be overcome by suitable delivery systems. As a result, old antibiotics that are chemically available at a clinical grade and have known mode of action may quickly reach clinical trials and eventually fight AMR.
The lead product of Rebiotics Rx is Nano-mupirocin. Nano-mupirocin is a PEGylated nano-liposomal formulation of the antibiotic mupirocin. Mupirocin has a unique mode of action, not shared by any other available antibiotic. It is active against pathogens defined as “urgent and serious threats” to public health, such as Neisseria gonorrhea, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Streptococcus pneumonia. However, its short half-life in circulation prevents its parenteral use and limits it to topical one. Reformulation of mupirocin by the nanoliposomes increases substantially the systemic exposure to mupirocin and prolongs its half-life, thereby enabling the parenteral activity of mupirocin and practically resulting in a novel antibiotic with demonstrated efficacy in relevant animal models.
Prof. Barenholz is the head of the Liposome and Membrane Research Lab at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, and the Daniel G. Miller Professor in Cancer Research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has been on the faculty at Hebrew University since 1968 and has been a visiting Professor at leading Universities around the world. His current research focuses on the development of drugs and nano-drugs based on drug delivery systems best exemplified by the anticancer drug Doxil®, the first liposomal drug and nano-drug to be approved by the FDA (1995). Prof. Barenholz is an author of >430 scientific publications and is a co-inventor in > 55 approved patent families. He is a founder of five start-up companies: Moebious, PolyPid, LipoCure, Ayana and RebioticsRx. He received many national and International awards including Honorary Doctorate degree from the Technical University of Denmark (2012) and the 2012 founders award of the International Controlled Release Society and the Israel Prime Minister 2020 Emmet Prize in Nanotechnology.
Prof. Goldblum is a principal investigator and a Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the head of Molecular Modeling and Drug Discovery at the Institute for Drug Research, School of Pharmacy. Prof. Goldblum received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the Hebrew University, followed by Postdoctoral studies of theoretical Chemistry at CNRS Paris, Pomona College California, and Stanford University. Prof. Goldblum joined the Medicinal Chemistry department of the Hebrew University in 1979 where he developed and applied theoretical approaches and algorithms for drug discovery. In 2000, Prof. Goldblum won the first award of the ACS Computers in Chemistry division in a contest of “Emerging technologies” for his novel algorithm to solve extremely complex combinatorial problems. This algorithm, later named “Iterative Stochastic Elimination” (ISE), has been extremely effective in the discovery of novel drugs by Prof. Goldblum and his team in diverse fields such as Obesity, Diabetes, Cancer, Immunology, Alzheimer’s Disease and Toxicology. ISE also enabled the discovery of mupirocin as a candidate for systemic delivery by liposomes.
In parallel to her role as Rebiotics CSO, Dr. Cern is a researcher at the Lab of Membrane and Liposome Research at the Hebrew University. Previously, Dr. Cern was an associate director at Pharmos LTD. She then became the director of the formulation development lab at Nextar Chempharma Solutions, where she managed many formulation development projects for pharma and biotech companies. Dr. Cern received her Ph.D. from the Hebrew University, working at the lab of Prof. Barenholz and Prof. Goldblum at the Dept. of Biochemistrsy. Her Ph.D. thesis focused on computational models for the identification of drugs suitable for liposomal delivery.
3. Cern A, Connolly KL, Jerse AE, Barenholz Y. 2018. In vitro susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains to mupirocin. An antibiotic reformulated to parenteral nano-liposomal antibiotic. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 62(4): e02377-17.
4. Goldmann O, Cern A, Müsken M, Rohde M, Weiss W, Barenholz Y, Medina E. 2019. Liposomal mupirocin holds promise for systemic treatment of invasive Staphylococcus aureus infections. J Control release. 316:292-301.
7. Nano-mupirocin Characterization as a Potential Candidate for MDR Gonorrhea. A poster presented at the ASM/ESCMID 2019 Conference on Drug Development to Meet the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance.
9. Nano-mupirocin: A 2-Week Repeat Dose Intravenous Toxicity and Toxicokinetic Study Followed by a 7-Day Recovery Period in Rats. A poster presented at the ASM/ESCMID 2019 Conference on Drug Development to Meet the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance.
10. Nano-mupirocin for Systemic Treatment of Invasive Staphylococcus aureus Infections. A poster presented at the ASM/ESCMID 2019 Conference on Drug Development to Meet the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance.
11. In vitro Activity of Mupirocin and Nano-mupirocin Against Gram-positive Clinical Isolates. A poster presented at the ASM/ESCMID 2019 Conference on Drug Development to Meet the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance.
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