Arpida was founded in 1997 by Dr Dieter Gillessen, Prof. Bernhard Erni and Dr Ivan Kompis along with Dr André Lamotte from New Medical Technologies (NMT, now HBM BioVentures). Arpida’s mission is to discover, develop and commercialise innovative drugs and provide caregivers with novel therapies to overcome the growing problem of microbial resistance. Arpida uses an integrated multidisciplinary platform including genomics-assisted selection of novel antibacterial targets to develop its portfolio of potential drug candidates. The company currently employs approx. 85 people and has research facilities near Basel, Switzerland and in the US. Arpida has been listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange SWX, since May 2005, symbol ARPN.
Arpida’s leading product candidate is intravenous iclaprim, a potent late-stage antibiotic that targets severe infections requiring hospital treatment, including those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The clinical programme for the first indication, complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI), has been completed. The pre-specified primary endpoint was achieved in two international pivotal Phase III trials. The submission of the NDA to the U.S. FDA is expected to be completed shortly.
Intravenous iclaprim is also being developed for the treatment of patients with hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) or healthcare associated pneumonia (HCAP). In December 2007, Arpida announced the enrolment of the first patients in a Phase II clinical study in this potential second indication.
An oral formulation of iclaprim has completed several Phase I trials. These studies demonstrated that the bioavailability of iclaprim from an oral formulation is around 40% and that oral iclaprim can easily achieve blood levels comparable to those of therapeutic doses of intravenous iclaprim. In January 2008, the US FDA granted authorisation to progress oral iclaprim into a Phase II ‘intravenous-to-oral’ switch trial. Iclaprim could be offered not only as an intravenous therapy for hospital use in acute situations, but also as an oral formulation, allowing early patient discharge followed by outpatient treatment. This switch should be a valuable instrument in reducing healthcare costs and enhancing patient comfort.
Arpida’s fourth most advanced antibiotic programme, AR-709, targets upper and lower respiratory tract infections acquired in the community setting. AR-709 exhibited potent activity against a large panel of pneumococcal clinical isolates including those resistant to currently used drugs. Promising results of “first-in-man” studies with AR-709 were published in March 2007.
An additional compound, AR-2474, has achieved in vivo proof of concept. AR-2474 has been shown to be highly effective in eradicating pathogens in preclinical models of skin infection and nasal carriage.
Apart from the antibiotic programmes, Arpida has an innovative antifungal therapy (TLT) which is in Phase III clinical trials in Europe, targeting onychomycosis.
Moreover, the company has several other leads in optimisation and additional discovery programmes derived from its own discovery platform at various research stages.
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