Synthetics Biologics, Inc., a biotechnology company, focuses on development of novel anti-infective biologics and drug candidates targeting specific pathogens that cause serious infections and other diseases. The company?s product candidates include Trimesta, which has completed phase II clinical trials for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis; SYN-010 that is in preclinical stage for the treatment of constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome; SYN-004, which is in preclinical stage for the treatment of clostridium difficile infection prevention; SYN-005 that is in preclinical stage for the treatment of pertussis; SYN-001, which is in discovery stage for the treatment of acinetobacter infection; and SYN-007 that is in discovery stage for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. It has a sublicense agreement with Meda AB for the development and commercialization of Effirma (flupirtine) for fibromyalgia in the United States, Canada, and Japan. The company was formerly known as Adeona Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and changed its name to Synthetics Biologics, Inc. in February 2012. Synthetics Biologics, Inc. was founded in 2001 and is based in Rockville, Maryland. As of November 2, 2015 the registrant had 90,810,086 shares of common stock outstanding. management team
board of directors
The initiation of monocloncal antibody (mAb) development for the treatment of pertussis is the second of three infectious disease indications Synthetic Biologics intends to pursue as part of its August 2012 collaboration with Intrexon Corporation.
To further the development of this potential mAb therapy for pertussis, Synthetic Biologics has entered into an agreement with The University of Texas at Austin to license the rights to certain research and pending patents related to pertussis antibodies. These research efforts are being conducted at the Cockrell School of Engineering in the laboratory of Assistant Professor, Jennifer A. Maynard, Ph.D., the Laurence E. McMakin, Jr. Centennial Faculty Fellow in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering. Dr. Maynard brings to the project her expertise in defining the key neutralizing epitopes of pertussis toxin to optimize the potential efficacy of antibody therapeutics
Many infectious diseases are innately resistant to, or over time have developed increased resistance to, antibiotics and other drugs. In August 2012, Synthetic Biologics announced a second worldwide exclusive channel collaboration with Intrexon Corporation. Using Intrexon’s comprehensive suite of proprietary technologies and processes, Synthetic Biologics intends to develop and commercialize a series of monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies for the treatment of certain infectious diseases not adequately addressed by existing therapies.
Effirma™ for Fibromyalgia
Synthetic Biologics has partnered the development of Effirma™ (flupirtine), a centrally-acting investigational oral drug, for the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome with Meda AB. Effirma is a selective neuronal potassium channel opener that also has NMDA receptor antagonist properties. Effirma is a non-opioid, non-NSAID, non-steroidal, analgesic. Preclinical data and clinical experience suggest that Effirma should also be effective for neuropathic pain since it acts in the central nervous system via a mechanism of action distinguishable from most marketed analgesics. Effirma is especially attractive because it operates through non-opiate pain pathways, exhibits no known abuse potential, and lacks withdrawal effects. In addition, no tolerance to its antinocioceptive effects has been observed. One common link between neuroprotection, nocioception and Effirma may be the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid glutamate system, a major receptor subtype for the excitotoxic neurotransmitter, glutamate. Effirma has strong inhibitory actions on N-methyl-D-aspartic acid-mediated neurotransmission. Flupirtine was originally developed by Asta Medica (subsequently acquired by Meda AB) and has been approved and is marketed by Meda AB in Europe since 1984, as well as other countries, for the treatment of pain. It has never been approved by the FDA for any indication.
On May 6, 2010, Synthetic Biologics and Pipex, its wholly owned subsidiary, entered into a sublicense agreement with Meda AB, a multi-billion dollar international pharmaceutical company, pursuant to which Meda AB assumed all future development costs and may commercialize flupirtine for fibromyalgia in the United States. As consideration for such sublicense, Synthetic Biologics received an up-front payment of $2.5 million and is entitled to milestone payments of $5 million upon the FDA’s acceptance of the New Drug Application (NDA) for flupirtine for fibromyalgia and $10 million upon FDA approval of such NDA. Pursuant to the sublicense agreement, Synthetic Biologics will also receive a 7% royalty on net sales of flupirtine for fibromyalgia in the United States, Canada and Japan, with such royalties being shared equally with Synthetic Biologic’s licensor, McLean Hospital, a Harvard teaching hospital.
Flupirtine is approved and marketed by Meda AB and its distributors in Europe and other countries for indications other than fibromyalgia and has been prescribed to millions of patients worldwide. Synthetic Biologics believes that such substantial human experience with flupirtine should greatly assist the FDA in its evaluation of the safety of flupirtine upon review of an NDA of flupirtine for fibromyalgia. According to Meda’s 2010 Annual Report, flupirtine for fibromyalgia is currently in Phase II development.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic and debilitating condition characterized by widespread pain and stiffness throughout the body, often accompanied by severe fatigue, insomnia and mood symptoms. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, fibromyalgia affects an estimated 3-6% of the population worldwide, including an estimated 10 million patients in the U.S.
There are presently three FDA products approved for this indication in the United States – Lyrica®, Cymbalta® and Savella®. Flupirtine is differentiated from these products in that it employs a unique mode of action.