Breakthrough treatment in Sepsis licensed to Dutch spinoff SurvivX by C-CAMP and ILS, Bhubaneswar

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Globally sepsis is the cause of one in five deaths in ICUs

A novel immunomodulatory adjuvant therapy to increase the window for survival in severe sepsis cases that has been co-developed by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, C-CAMP and Institute of Life Sciences, (ILS) Bhubaneswar is successfully licensed out to the Dutch biotechnology company, SurvivX. The news was formally announced by Dr Taslimarif Saiyed, Director-CEO of C-CAMP and co-PI of the project, at an event with the Hon’ble Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, on his official visit to Bengaluru on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

The news was followed by an announcement by SurvivX on the occasion of World Sepsis Day, 13th September, of its formal selection as a cohort company of INCATE Incubator for Antibacterial Therapies in Europe.  Apart from the support by INCATE, the company is funded via Oost NL by the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RvO)

Polymicrobial sepsis is a worldwide challenge, with approximately 50 million cases and 11 million sepsis-related deaths worldwide, accounting for 20 % of all global deaths. The new compound, called SUR-101, is an immune stimulating therapeutic in sepsis patients with signs of immune suppression. It could be the first step towards personalization and precision in sepsis medicine that has thus far been treated as a drug discovery problem. The technology presently at the preclinical stage is a discovery by a team of scientists led by Prof Ravindran Balachandran from ILS. It has been translated and co-developed by the translational research group led by Dr Saiyed at C-CAMP. This project has been supported by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.

Speaking on the licensing effort, the Hon’ble Dutch Ambassador to India, Marisa Gerards, said, “Life Sciences & Health remains a priority sector for the bilateral cooperation between the Netherlands and India. We have successfully been working in this field for many years, and this new partnership is a great example of what India and the Netherlands can do together. Sepsis is an important global societal challenge, and it is in need of innovative solutions.”

“This is one of the first global technology transfers by C-CAMP of an academic invention developed exclusively in India. We are excited about the partnership with SurvivX, a biotech company in the Netherlands, in the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) domain. This agreement will be a model in innovation focused bilateral partnerships that addresses global issues together." Dr Saiyed said.

“It is one of the rare instances of basic science in biology getting translated for use in a short span of time in India.” Dr Balachandran added.

SurvivX CEO Remko van Leeuwen said, “Our technology is based on a specific protein excreted by a tropical parasite: the filaria roundworm. The team in India made the remarkable observation that people infected by this parasite typically do not end up at an ICU unit when they develop sepsis. They started studies to find the cause of this protective effect that an infection with this worm seems to have. They discovered that a specific protein secreted by the worm is responsible for this. This protein has been characterized and can be further developed as a medicine. We have already shown that the protein leads to a much better survival of mice with sepsis, confirming the protective effect seen in filaria patients. But mice are not humans; thus, SurvivX needs to show the safety and activity of the protein in humans before it can be tested as a novel therapeutic approach”.  

About the technology: After infection, sepsis usually manifests as an over-drive of the innate immune response. An uncontrolled immune response induces shock and seriously reduces the patient’s survival window before traditional antibiotics have a chance to kick in. Most existing interventions for sepsis are found to be effective only at very early onset of sepsis before the shock takes hold. By modulating the immune response, the current technology allows a longer time window for administering targeted interventions for sepsis. Excellent results in terms of survival have been obtained at the preclinical stage.

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October 19, 2023