Improving survival in sepsis

Chelation Partners, a preclinical company focused on medical indications related to iron availability including infectious disease, cancer and inflammatory disorders, has announced the publication of positive preclinical results in an experimental animal model of fatal bacterial sepsis.

The study investigated DIBI, a non-toxic, iron chelating polymer with the ability to inhibit growth of a wide variety of microorganisms, including those resistant to antibiotics, by starving them from the freely available iron they need to grow, which DIBI withdraws from the host. DIBI also has anti-inflammatory effects.

Publication highlights for Chelation’s Anti-infective polymer include that DIBI reduced leukocyte adhesion, improved capillary blood flow, and decreased key plasma cytokines levels, important markers of efficacy in sepsis. In this model, DIBI improved survival of infected mice, and greatly improved survival when used in combination with the antibiotic, imipenem. 7-day survivors treated with only 2 doses of DIBI and imipenem were completely free of systemic infection.

Previous studies of DIBI in other sepsis models have shown it preserved capillary perfusion, reduced plasma inflammatory markers and attenuated tissue damage. In response to the current pandemic, DIBI is also being developed as a potential daily IV therapy for hospitalised Covid-19 patients, to be administered early to suppress the progression of dysregulated inflammatory response (cytokine storm and ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and secondary infections, pathologies seen in nearly all fatal Covid-19 cases. 

An independent research group led by Christian Lehmann, MD, of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, conducted the research. Dr. Lehmann concluded that “DIBI has promising potential for sepsis treatment including its use as a sole or an adjunct therapeutic with antibiotics”. This is the 4th published report on the utility of DIBI for sepsis from this team. 

“This new report shows yet again that the potential for DIBI in sepsis goes beyond its anti-infective properties especially given the striking similarities between Covid-19 viral and bacterial sepsis” said Bruce Holbein, one of the study co-authors and Chief Scientific Officer of Chelation Partners. The company is pursuing early entry into clinical development to investigate potential benefits in COVID-19 patients.

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