Industry: Pneomonia therapeutics
Diseases caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae are a persistent threat to humanity. One of these, Pneumonia, affects 450 million people globally per year, with alarmingly high mortality rates. Vaccines against these diseases are limited in use, and aren’t suited for young children, the elderly, or the immunocompromised. Antibiotic treatments can be effective, but drug-resistant strains have proliferated. Once serotype in particular, serotype 3, has proved especially virulent and deadly, evading the protection of existing vaccines.
Pneumotactix has recently developed an enzyme, derived from the cloned Pn3Pase gene (expressed by a Paenibacillus strain), which effectively degrades the capsular surface of the live bacterium, rendering it immune-susceptible.
This treatment could be revolutionary for those endangered by invasive pneumococcal diseased (IPD), weakening the disease where vaccines and antibiotics have failed: a novel therapeutic to reduce IPD mortality and bring patients to full recovery.
In the next phase of development, Pneumotactix will optimize enzyme production and investigate potential cytotoxicity and immunogenicity. The market for pneumonia therapeutics was estimated to be $11.9 billion in 2016 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8.0% through the forecast period 2018-2025.