One drug for one bug: Debiopharm to discuss the potential of pathogen-specific antibiotics at the 2022 World AMR Congress

International health authorities, such as the WHO and the CDC are warning of the emerging danger of bacterial infections resistant to current antibiotics  

The 2022 World Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) Congress in the greater Washington D.C. area is serving as a forum to openly address the threat of AMR

Debiopharm will join the action-focused discussions around this silent pandemic in
3 panel discussions, presenting their microbiome-sparing FabI inhibitor class as a future tool to fight AMR

Lausanne, Switzerland – September 7th, 2022 – Debiopharm, ( a privately-owned, Swiss-based, biopharmaceutical company committed to the development of novel class antibiotics, today revealed its involvement in three panel discussions at the World AMR Congress, taking place in Fort Washington, Maryland, from September 7th – 8th. This conference offers pharmaceutical companies, government, and policy stakeholders from all around the world the opportunity to meet, discuss and formulate initiatives to effectively tackle the emerging threat of antimicrobial resistance. Debiopharm will present developments on its FabI inhibitor antibiotic class including afabicin (Debio 1450), Debio 1453 and Debio 1454S, all of which have microbiome-sparing potential, a promising characteristic for AMR prevention.

AMR is a leading cause of death and disability and represents a major threat to human health. Among the 1.27 million deaths1 that occur globally due to antibiotic-resistant infections each year, more than 35,0002 occur in the United States and over 33,0003 occur in Europe. The economic burden of AMR is also significant4 in direct health care and lost productivity costs are attributable to antibiotic-resistant bacteria like Staphylococcus spp.

The WHO and the CDC have identified such pathogens posing a threat to public health and Debiopharm, one of the few private companies still engaged in the development of novel antibiotics, has directed its efforts toward targeting them. The World AMR summit offers a great opportunity to governments, funds, associations, and passionate companies like Debiopharm to join forces against one of the top global public threats facing humanity.

“We’re proud to unveil more on the role our novel class antibiotic, the FabI inhibitors, amongst key international stakeholders at the World AMR. We’re hoping that our collaboration with specialized organizations and lawmakers will trigger the much needed changes in the way we think about the unmet need for antibiotics as well as provide hope to people and health practitioners dealing with these seemingly insurmountable infections” stated Mohammed Benghezal, Global Project Lead in Anti-infectives, Debiopharm.

“Pathogen-specific antibiotic effect without harming the “good” gut bacteria: it is the best of both worlds! As we research their efficacy and safety profile, this class of antibiotics could be like no other,” expressed Ricardo Chaves, Executive Medical Director, Debiopharm. “Now is the time to encourage the development of new antibiotic classes by establishing new business models that will assure future patients access to effective treatments that will knock out highly resistant bacterial infections and at the same time prevent AMR development.”

World AMR 2022 Session Details

Session 1

Sept.7th, 09:40 – 10:20 EST
Keynote panel discussion: Disease Prevention & Control Summit – Funding & Commercial Landscape

Ricardo Chaves, Executive Medical Director, Debiopharm + other invited speakers

Session 2

Sept.7th, 11:40-12:10 EST

Antibiotic Development – Panel Discussion
Pathogen-specific antibiotic therapy: A new paradigm to face AMR?

Ricardo Chaves, Executive Medical Director, Debiopharm
Vence Fowler, Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University, North Carolina
James Anderson, Executive Director Global Health, IFPMA

Session 3

Sept.8th, 11:40-12:00 EST

Innovation Showcase – Microbiome
One Drug for One Bug: FabI Novel Class Antibiotics for Microbiome Sparing and AMR Prevention

Riccardo Nisato, Licensing and Grant Associate Manager, Debiopharm
Mohammed Benghezal, Global Project Lead in Anti-infectives, Debiopharm


About afabicin

Afabicin (Debio 1450) is Debiopharm’s first-in-class FabI inhibitor against Staphylococcus spp., whose sub-class Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is high on the WHO global priority pathogen list and deemed a “serious threat” by the CDC. Afabicin can be administered orally or IV and selectively targets Staphylococcus’ essential bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis. Promising results have been obtained in a comparative double-blind Phase 2 trial with afabicin in acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections. Currently, an international Phase 2 trial in bone and joint infections is being conducted comparing afabicin to standard antibiotics.

About Debio 1453 and Debio 1454S

Analogous to Afabicin, the preclinical compounds Debio 1453 and Debio 1454S are potential first in class pathogen-specific drugs targeting the essential bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis. Debio 1453 can be administered orally or intramuscularly to treat Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections while Debio 1454S is being developed for IV use in cases of hospital-acquired pneumonia and ventilator-associated pneumonia caused by carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii.

Debiopharm’s fight against antimicrobial resistance

Debiopharm, an innovation-focused, Swiss biopharmaceutical company is one of the few privately owned companies developing novel class antibiotics to combat hard-to-treat infections. Through their unique partnership-based business model, the company is advancing pathogen-specific antibiotics from early stage through phase II clinical research with afabicin, specifically targeting staphylococci, being the most clinically advanced for the treatment of bone and joint infections. As a result of high selectivity, FabI inhibitors specifically target selected pathogens while preserving intestinal microbiota and meet all four WHO 2020 innovation criteria: new chemical class, new target, new mode of action and no cross-resistance to other antibiotic classes.

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1 Antimicrobial Resistance Collaborators. Global burden of bacterial antimicrobial resistance in 2019: a systematic analysis. Lancet. 2022;399(10325):629-655.

2 CDC Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2019.

3 Cassini A, et al. Attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years caused by infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the EU and the European Economic Area in 2015: a population-level modelling analysis. Lancet Infect Dis. 2019;19(1):56-66.

4 CDC Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013.