Publications by authors named "Achim Wach"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Chimeric peptidomimetic antibiotics against Gram-negative bacteria.

Nature 2019 12 23;576(7787):452-458. Epub 2019 Oct 23.

Polyphor AG, Allschwil, Switzerland.

There is an urgent need for new antibiotics against Gram-negative pathogens that are resistant to carbapenem and third-generation cephalosporins, against which antibiotics of last resort have lost most of their efficacy. Here we describe a class of synthetic antibiotics inspired by scaffolds derived from natural products. These chimeric antibiotics contain a β-hairpin peptide macrocycle linked to the macrocycle found in the polymyxin and colistin family of natural products. They are bactericidal and have a mechanism of action that involves binding to both lipopolysaccharide and the main component (BamA) of the β-barrel folding complex (BAM) that is required for the folding and insertion of β-barrel proteins into the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. Extensively optimized derivatives show potent activity against multidrug-resistant pathogens, including all of the Gram-negative members of the ESKAPE pathogens. These derivatives also show favourable drug properties and overcome colistin resistance, both in vitro and in vivo. The lead candidate is currently in preclinical toxicology studies that-if successful-will allow progress into clinical studies that have the potential to address life-threatening infections by the Gram-negative pathogens, and thus to resolve a considerable unmet medical need.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1665-6DOI Listing
December 2019

Pharmacokinetics, Tolerability, and Safety of Murepavadin, a Novel Antipseudomonal Antibiotic, in Subjects with Mild, Moderate, or Severe Renal Function Impairment.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2018 09 27;62(9). Epub 2018 Aug 27.

Polyphor Ltd., Allschwil, Switzerland.

This open-label, nonrandomized, single-dose, phase 1 study evaluated the pharmacokinetics and safety of murepavadin, a novel peptide antibiotic for the treatment of serious infections. The study was conducted in 32 subjects of either sex in 4 groups (up to 8 per group) with mild (group 1), moderate (group 2), and severe (group 3) renal function impairment or with normal renal function (group 4). The degree of renal impairment of the subjects was classified at screening according to the estimated creatinine clearance (CL) according to the Cockcroft-Gault equation. All subjects received a single 2.2-mg/kg of body weight intravenous infusion of murepavadin administered over 3 h. Exposure to murepavadin in plasma increased in subjects with renal function impairment, with the area under the plasma concentration-time curve from zero to infinity (AUC) increasing about 2.0- to 2.5-fold for subjects with renal function impairment compared to subjects with normal renal function, whereas the increases in maximum observed plasma concentration () were about 1.5-fold for subjects with renal function impairment compared to subjects with normal renal function. The total clearance (CL) of murepavadin was lower in all groups of subjects with renal function impairment, with group means ranging from 2.4 liters/h to 3.8 liters/h, compared to 7.0 liters/h in subjects with normal renal function. Accordingly, the terminal elimination half-life () prolonged up to 24 h with decreasing renal function compared to 7.7 h in subjects with normal renal function. Murepavadin was well tolerated in all renal function groups. As the elimination of murepavadin is affected by renal function, a dose adjustment is warranted in subjects with impaired renal function. (This paper has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under identifier NCT02110459.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.00490-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6125514PMC
September 2018

Balixafortide plus eribulin in HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer: a phase 1, single-arm, dose-escalation trial.

Lancet Oncol 2018 06 26;19(6):812-824. Epub 2018 Apr 26.

Breast Cancer Unit and Gynaecological Tumours, Ramon y Cajal University Hospital, Madrid, Spain; Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain; Baselga Oncology Institute, Quiron Group, Madrid and Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: The C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4)-stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) axis regulates function and trafficking of immune cells and the tumour microenvironment. CXCR4 antagonists have been shown to enhance the activity of different anticancer treatments in preclinical models. We assessed the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary phase 1 activity of the CXCR4 antagonist, balixafortide, in combination with eribulin chemotherapy in patients with heavily pretreated, relapsed metastatic breast cancer.

Methods: This single-arm, dose-escalation, phase 1 trial enrolled patients at 11 sites in Spain and the USA. Eligible patients were women aged 18 years or older who had histologically confirmed HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer, evidence of tumour cell CXCR4 expression, an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, and who had previously received between one and three chemotherapy regimens for metastatic breast cancer, and at least one endocrine therapy if they had hormone receptor-positive disease, unless they were considered unsuitable for endocrine therapy. A standard 3+3 dose-escalation design was used, followed by an expanded cohort at the established maximum tolerated dose or highest dose if no dose-limiting toxicity was observed for the combination. After a treatment-related fatal adverse event in the first cohort who received 21-day cycles of treatment with eribulin and balixafortide, a protocol amendment modified the study design to be done in two parts. Patients enrolled to part 1 received an initial 28-day run-in cycle, with some cohorts receiving de-escalated doses of eribulin plus balixafortide to assess the safety and pharmacokinetics of the combination. The evaluation of part 1 did not confirm any dose-limiting toxicities or eribulin-balixafortide interactions, and therefore part 2 started enrolling patients to receive eribulin at the originally planned dose of 1·4 mg/m on days 2 and 9 of a 21-day cycle and balixafortide from a starting dose of 2 mg/kg with dose increments of 0·5 or 1 mg/kg on days 1-3 and 8-10 of the 21-day cycle. Both drugs were administered as intravenous infusions. All patients were to receive treatment until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoints were dose-limiting toxicities and adverse events, and the establishment of a maximum tolerated dose or recommended phase 2 dose, and pharmacokinetic parameters. Safety analysis was done in all patients who received at least one dose of study treatment. Analysis of antitumour activity was done in all patients who received at least one full cycle of study treatment. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01837095, and is closed to accrual.

Findings: Between Jan 28, 2014, and Oct 4, 2016, 56 patients were enrolled into the trial. No dose-limiting toxicities were confirmed and the maximum tolerated dose was not reached. The highest dose was established as eribulin 1·4 mg/m on days 2 and 9, and balixafortide 5·5 mg/kg on days 1-3 and 8-10 of the 21-day cycle. Objective responses (all partial responses) were observed in 16 (30%; 95% CI 18-44) of 54 patients who were evaluable for antitumour activity. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events of any grade were fatigue (44 [79%] of 56 patients), neutropenia (32 [57%]), infusion-related reactions (27 [48%]), alopecia (26 [46%]), constipation (26 [46%]), and nausea (25 [45%]). Serious adverse events occurred in 21 (38%) of 56 patients, including febrile neutropenia in five (9%) of 56 patients, neutrophil count decrease in two (4%) patients, constipation in two (4%) patients, pneumonia in two (4%) patients, and urinary tract infection in three (5%) patients. Two (4%) of 56 patients died while receiving study treatment; one from septic shock and one from pneumonia.

Interpretation: The safety and tolerability of balixafortide plus eribulin seems to be similar to that of eribulin or balixafortide monotherapy, and the preliminary activity of the combination seems promising in patients with HER-negative metastatic breast cancer. The results suggest that balixafortide plus eribulin has potential to provide a new therapeutic option in heavily pretreated patients with metastatic breast cancer and warrants further investigation in randomised trials.

Funding: Polyphor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30147-5DOI Listing
June 2018

Pharmacokinetics and Safety of Intravenous Murepavadin Infusion in Healthy Adult Subjects Administered Single and Multiple Ascending Doses.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2018 04 27;62(4). Epub 2018 Mar 27.

Polyphor Ltd., Allschwil, Switzerland

Murepavadin is the first in class of the outer membrane protein-targeting antibiotics (OMPTA) and a pathogen-specific peptidomimetic antibacterial with a novel, nonlytic mechanism of action targeting Murepavadin is being developed for the treatment of hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia (HABP) and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia (VABP). The pharmacokinetics (PK) and safety of single and multiple doses of murepavadin were investigated in healthy male subjects. Part A of the study was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, single-ascending-dose investigation in 10 sequential cohorts where each cohort comprised 6 healthy male subjects; 4 subjects were randomized to murepavadin, and 2 subjects were randomized to placebo. Part B was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multiple-ascending-dose investigation in 3 sequential cohorts. After a single dose of murepavadin, the geometric mean half-life (2.52 to 5.30 h), the total clearance (80.1 to 114 ml/h/kg), and the volume of distribution (415 to 724 ml/kg) were consistent across dose levels. The pharmacokinetics of the dosing regimens evaluated were dose proportional and linear. Murepavadin was well tolerated, adverse events were transient and generally mild, and no dose-limiting toxicity was identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.02355-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5913942PMC
April 2018

Mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells with the novel CXCR4 antagonist POL6326 (balixafortide) in healthy volunteers-results of a dose escalation trial.

J Transl Med 2017 01 3;15(1). Epub 2017 Jan 3.

German Red Cross Blood Service BaWüHe, Institute Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.

Background: Certain disadvantages of the standard hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) mobilizing agent G-CSF fuel the quest for alternatives. We herein report results of a Phase I dose escalation trial comparing mobilization with a peptidic CXCR4 antagonist POL6326 (balixafortide) vs. G-CSF.

Methods: Healthy male volunteer donors with a documented average mobilization response to G-CSF received, following ≥6 weeks wash-out, a 1-2 h infusion of 500-2500 µg/kg of balixafortide. Safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics were assessed.

Results: Balixafortide was well tolerated and rated favorably over G-CSF by subjects. At all doses tested balixafortide mobilized HSPC. In the dose range between 1500 and 2500 µg/kg mobilization was similar, reaching 38.2 ± 2.8 CD34 + cells/µL (mean ± SEM). Balixafortide caused mixed leukocytosis in the mid-20 K/µL range. B-lymphocytosis was more pronounced, whereas neutrophilia and monocytosis were markedly less accentuated with balixafortide compared to G-CSF. At the 24 h time point, leukocytes had largely normalized.

Conclusions: Balixafortide is safe, well tolerated, and induces efficient mobilization of HSPCs in healthy male volunteers. Based on experience with current apheresis technology, the observed mobilization at doses ≥1500 µg/kg of balixafortide is predicted to yield in a single apheresis a standard dose of 4× 10E6 CD34+ cells/kg from most individuals donating for an approximately weight-matched recipient. Exploration of alternative dosing regimens may provide even higher mobilization responses. Trial Registration European Medicines Agency (EudraCT-Nr. 2011-003316-23) and clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01841476).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-016-1107-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5209880PMC
January 2017

Efficacy of the Novel Antibiotic POL7001 in Preclinical Models of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Pneumonia.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2016 08 22;60(8):4991-5000. Epub 2016 Jul 22.

Infections and Cystic Fibrosis Unit, Division of Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy

The clinical development of antibiotics with a new mode of action combined with efficient pulmonary drug delivery is a priority against untreatable Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections. POL7001 is a macrocycle antibiotic belonging to the novel class of protein epitope mimetic (PEM) molecules with selective and potent activity against P. aeruginosa We investigated ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and cystic fibrosis (CF) as indications of the clinical potential of POL7001 to treat P. aeruginosa pulmonary infections. MICs of POL7001 and comparators were measured for reference and clinical P. aeruginosa strains. The therapeutic efficacy of POL7001 given by pulmonary administration was evaluated in murine models of P. aeruginosa acute and chronic pneumonia. POL7001 showed potent in vitro activity against a large panel of P. aeruginosa isolates from CF patients, including multidrug-resistant (MDR) isolates with adaptive phenotypes such as mucoid or hypermutable phenotypes. The efficacy of POL7001 was demonstrated in both wild-type and CF mice. In addition to a reduced bacterial burden in the lung, POL7001-treated mice showed progressive body weight recovery and reduced levels of inflammatory markers, indicating an improvement in general condition. Pharmacokinetic studies indicated that POL7001 reached significant concentrations in the lung after pulmonary administration, with low systemic exposure. These results support the further evaluation of POL7001 as a novel therapeutic agent for the treatment of P. aeruginosa pulmonary infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.00390-16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4958219PMC
August 2016

Reorientation of mispositioned spindles in short astral microtubule mutant spc72Delta is dependent on spindle pole body outer plaque and Kar3 motor protein.

Mol Biol Cell 2002 Apr;13(4):1366-80

Lehrstuhl für Angewandte Mikrobiologie, Biozentrum, Universität Basel, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.

Nuclear migration and positioning in Saccharomyces cerevisiae depend on long astral microtubules emanating from the spindle pole bodies (SPBs). Herein, we show by in vivo fluorescence microscopy that cells lacking Spc72, the SPB receptor of the cytoplasmic gamma-tubulin complex, can only generate very short (<1 microm) and unstable astral microtubules. Consequently, nuclear migration to the bud neck and orientation of the anaphase spindle along the mother-bud axis are absent in these cells. However, SPC72 deletion is not lethal because elongated but misaligned spindles can frequently reorient in mother cells, permitting delayed but otherwise correct nuclear segregation. High-resolution time-lapse sequences revealed that this spindle reorientation was most likely accomplished by cortex interactions of the very short astral microtubules. In addition, a set of double mutants suggested that reorientation was dependent on the SPB outer plaque and the astral microtubule motor function of Kar3 but not Kip2/Kip3/Dhc1, or the cortex components Kar9/Num1. Our observations suggest that Spc72 is required for astral microtubule formation at the SPB half-bridge and for stabilization of astral microtubules at the SPB outer plaque. In addition, our data exclude involvement of Spc72 in spindle formation and elongation functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1091/mbc.01-07-0338DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC102275PMC
April 2002