Telephus Medical LLC (Telephus), a biotechnology company focused on development of antibody therapies for antibiotic-resistant staphylococcal infections, announced that the Japan Patent Office has issued Japanese patent number 5,837,215 covering monoclonal antibody compositions that bind and neutralize the endo-β-N-acetylglucosaminidase (Gmd) subunit of staphylococcal bifunctional autolysin and methods to use those antibodies for the treatment and prevention of severe, life-threatening staph infections, including those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

StaphThese monoclonal antibody candidates represent the first of a series of antibodies designed by Telephus to fight severe staphylococcal biofilm infections resistant to modern antibiotics. The Gmd target enzyme neutralized by these antibodies plays roles in surface and tissue attachment of bacteria, bacterial cell replication, immune evasion, virulence and biofilm formation, all of which drive the underlying pathology among patients suffering from severe infections caused by staphylococcal bacteria.

Neutralizing antibodies, such as those being developed by Telephus, both bind to a target enzyme, and inhibit that target enzyme’s activity. These antibodies are potentially important for treating infections in patients who are immunocompromised due to age, trauma, existing medications, or other conditions such as diabetes, in which host production of antibodies against staphylococcal infections is likely to be impaired.

In animal models of severe implant-associated osteomyelitis biofilm infections similar to those found in some patients with hip or knee replacements, this neutralizing activity has been shown to accelerate bacterial clearance by the host immune system, suppress bone loss, reduce abscess formation and inhibit bacterial growth in bone and adjoining muscle tissue proximal to the site of implant infection.

This recently issued patent is part of a broader intellectual property portfolio exclusively licensed by Telephus from the University of Rochester (UR) which were developed in the laboratory of Edward M. Schwarz, PhD, Richard and Margaret Burton Distinguished Professor in Orthopaedics at the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester, where he is also Director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research. Dr. Schwarz is also Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Telephus. That portfolio includes numerous patent applications to which Telephus has an exclusive right in the US and major international markets. The licensed UR portfolio covers patents and applications describing two broad areas of unique therapeutic neutralizing monoclonal antibody compositions directed against the subunits of bifunctional autolysin from S. aureus and methods to use those antibodies to diagnose, prevent and treat severe, antibiotic-resistant staphylococcal infections.

“We are excited to see issuance of this first patent in our intellectual property estate,” said Mark Benedyk, PhD, President and CEO of Telephus. “This patent is an important component of Telephus’ extensive intellectual property portfolio covering specific monoclonal antibody compositions and methods licensed from the University of Rochester and describes the underlying technology on which our initial product, TPH 101, is based – the first humanized, neutralizing monoclonal antibody to treat patients suffering from severe staphylococcal infections.”