ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), a developer of synthetic biologics and innovative medicines for serious diseases and unmet medical needs, today announced that it has initiated efforts to develop a monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy for the treatment of acinetobacter infections. Many strains of Acinetobacter are multidrug-resistant and pose an increasing global threat to hospitalized patients, wounded military personnel and those affected by natural disasters. The Company also announced that it has engaged Lewis (Lew) Barrett, former Assistant Vice President, Established Products at Pfizer and Vice President Global Business Manager, Infectious Diseases at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, to bring his expertise in the development, commercialization and launch of infectious disease product candidates to the Synthetic Biologics' team.
Acinetobacter is a difficult to treat pathogen due to its rapid and well-established resistance to most antibiotics, making it a multidrug-resistant pathogen. In addition, as a biofilm-forming pathogen, Acinetobacter has the ability to survive up to twice as long as non-biofilm-forming pathogens. In the U.S., Acinetobacter has been reported to be the cause of up to 2.6% of hospital acquired infections, 1.3% of bloodstream infections and 7% of ICU respiratory tract infections, and more than half of the Acinetobacter isolates are multidrug-resistant. Patients with infections caused by Acinetobacter have been reported having mortality rates ranging from 7.8% to 43% in the hospital and in the ICU. While Acinetobacter is a well-documented pathogen in the hospital setting, this pathogen also poses an increasing danger to wounded servicemen and women in military treatment centers and to those treated in trauma centers following natural disasters.
The initiation of mAb development for the treatment of acineto