Madam Therapeutics

News Archive

Estimated burden of infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the EU much higher than previously thought

In The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Alessandro Cassini and colleagues describe how they measured the health burden of five types of antibiotic-resistant infection (invasive and non-invasive) caused by eight bacteria with 16 resistance patterns in the EU and European Economic Area (EAA).

The estimates, for the 1st time presented as disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), are truly shocking.

Evaluation of the burden of infectious diseases can be challenging because they occur at different time scales and are influenced by many factors (ie, demography, epidemiological setting, population ageing, and method of measurement).

Cassini and colleagues report the first attempt to quantify DALYs for other resistant infections.
By using this new method, their study adds to the evidence base on the burden of antimicrobial resistance and could have a crucial role in fighting such resistance. By providing for the first time DALY data for countries with a high burden of antimicrobial resistance, this study calls for increased political awareness of, and commitment to, antimicrobial resistance.

New strategies in the treatment of infections are therefore highly warranted, as this study confirms that antibiotic resistance (antimicrobial resistance, AMR) is emerging much more rapidly than originally thought. This resistance will increase over the coming years and decades because of the excessive use of traditional antibiotics in humans and animals.

Madam Therapeutics is developing SAAPs as a new class of antimicrobial agents are highly active against resistant bacteria and have a very favorable tolerance profile. Our SAAPs combine two characteristics essential for such new strategies: powerful killing of bacteria and limited likelihood of emerging resistance.

LUMC Scientist Peter Nibbering interviewed on Dutch Radio News show on SAAP-148

Peter Nibbering, Associate Professor at the Leiden University Medical Center, was interviewed on the Dutch radio news show Focus about his research to develop strategies (and agents) to prevent and treat bacterial/fungal infections not treatable with current antiinfectives. In this interview he talks about SAAP-148, that was developed and investigated in his clinic in collaboration with Madam Therapeutics.

The interview can be listened to via the website of the news show Focus

Madam Therapeutics has been awarded a grant from the Netherlands Antibiotic Development Platform (NADP)

Madam Therapeutics is pleased to announce that it is one of the 4 companies in the Netherlands that have been awarded a novel grant from the Netherlands Antibiotic Development Platform (NADP).

An important objective of NADP is to increase the productivity of research and development for new antibiotics and alternatives. In order to promote the accelerated development of promising ‘leads’, NADP has developed a financing instrument specifically for this purpose: the NADP Vouchers.

These vouchers can be used in various phases of the drug development process to gain advice and intensive supervision of research projects from independent consultants or contract research organisations that have specific knowledge and expertise pertinent to the pharmaceutical development process and clinical applications. The options vary from lead identification and optimisation, patent applications, and market analysis to pre-clinical drug development.

Applications were received from different types of organisations: 1 university, 2 university medical center, 1 university of applied sciences, and 4 SMEs.

Following expert review, the NADP Board decided on awarding 8 out of 13 submitted applications. ‘Awarding 8 out of 13 vouchers forms a promising start for our goal to accelerate research and development of new antibiotics and alternatives’ says Cees de Joncheere, chair NADP Executive Board in a press release.

Madam Therapeutics will use the voucher to support the development of it’s lead molecule SAAP-148.

We are preparing our visits to World Anti-Microbial Resistance Congress and BioEurope

Remko van Leeuwen and Leonie de Best are preparing their respective visits to the 4th Annual World Anti-Microbial Resistance Congress, Washington DC, USA (October 25 – October 26) and
BioEurope, Copenhagen, Denmark (November 5 – November 7). Remko will visit the Anti-Microbial Resistance Congress, while Leonie will attend BioEurope.

At both meetings there are plenty of opportunities to network with us, for example during partnering meetings, program sessions, during lunch, receptions, in the exhibition, and the special evening networking receptions. If you are attending one of the meetings, send us a partnering request or respond to this post, and will arrange a meeting with you.



South Africa: Klebsiella pneumoniae outbreak kills six newborns

An outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae at the Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital that began several weeks ago has grown to a dozen neonatal infections, including six deaths as is reported by various news outlets.

Klebsiella pneumoniae is a bacterium that is known to cause different types of healthcare-associated infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, wound or surgical site infections. Due to their increasing resistance to a class of antibiotics known as carbapenems, some strains of Klebsiella bacteria can cause infections which can longer be treated by carbepenems.

Persons who are at risk for infections with carbapenem-resistant organisms such as Klebsiella are those who have severe illness, surgical patients, patients who stay in hospital for prolonged periods, persons undergoing organ or stem cell transplantation, persons in intensive care and those who are on mechanical ventilation. Although less common, some persons can also acquire infection in the community.

Madam Therapeutics is developing a new class of antibiotics (SAAPs) that has a much higher barrier to resistance development. Carbapenem-resistant organisms such as Klebsiella are to SAAP-148. SAAP-148 is in clinical development, and not yet available for clinical use.

Interview with CEO Remko van Leeuwen on Dutch News Radio Station BNR

Remko van Leeuwen, CEO of Madam Therapeutics, was interviewed today in “Zaken doen met”, a radioshow on the Dutch News Radio Station BNR.

“Zaken doen met” is advertised as the most entrepreneurial radioshow of the Netherlands.

During the interview, Remko van Leeuwen talks about the opportunities and difficulties he and CBO Leonie the Best have experienced in closing the 1st private funding round of 1,1M EUR that was closed earlier this week.

A replay of this interview can be listened to (in Dutch) via

Remko van Leeuwen appeared in the same radio show just one year earlier. That interview can be replayed via (also in Dutch)

New business report describes Madam Therapeutics as key player for the development of new treatments for burns

A new business outlook on the global burns market has been published this week. Madam Therapeutics is listed as a “dominating players with regards to growth of this particular market”.

The report `is portraying an in-depth study of the global burns treatment market, and covers the growth rate of the market during the anticipated time. Supplying a concise overview, the global Burns Treatment market research report verifies the assessment and volume of the Burns Treatment market in the upcoming period. Adocia, AlgiPharma AS, Amarantus Bioscience Holdings, Inc., American Gene Technologies International Inc., Biogenomics Limited, CytoTools AG, Destiny Pharma Limited, Lakewood-Amedex Inc, Madam Therapeutics B.V., MediWound Ltd., Mitochon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Phosphagenics Limited, Se-cure Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Sinclair Pharma Plc, Stratatech Corporation, Tissue Therapies Limited, USV Pvt Ltd are dominating players in the global Burns Treatment market.

The latest research report also encloses key features contributing to the development of the global Burns Treatment market.

Madam Therapeutics closes first financing round to develop novel antibiotics against drug resistant bacteria

Madam Therapeutics today announced the closing of its first financing round of 1,1M EUR. The investment comes from a network of European business angels facilitated by Ekoy Investment Partners, De Investeerders Club and Investormatch.

The new funding will be used to continue and accelerate the clinical development of Madam Therapeutics’ lead candidate SAAP-148, by executing a first-in-men proof of concept study starting early next year and preparation of the following clinical phase II trial.

Lead candidate: SAAP-148
When a small subset of bacteria survives antibiotic treatment e.g. by mutations, an infection can get out of control fast. As these resilient microbes thrive, they can group together on a surface—like a wound or a medical device—and encase themselves in a slimy protective layer known as a biofilm. Such biofilm infections “are the really nasty things for patients,” says immunologist Peter Nibbering at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands with whom Madam Therapeutics closely collaborates.

Madam Therapeutics and a team of esteemed Dutch scientists from o.a. Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and Amsterdam Medical Center(AMC) have developed a new antibiotic with improved characteristics to fight a broad spectrum of infections. In a recent editorial comment on the new compound on the website of the scientific journal Science, Dr Kim Lewis, a microbiologist at Northeastern University in Boston says that the candidate adds “an important piece … to the puzzle of creating a perfect antibiotic”.

Dr. Remko van Leeuwen, CEO of Madam Therapeutics, comments on this first financing round:
“Most of the antibiotic drugs currently in the worldwide clinical pipeline are modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are only short-term solutions. Antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency. There is an urgent need for more research and development for antibiotic-resistant infections, otherwise people will die from very simple infections”. Remko van Leeuwen is thrilled to welcome the group of investors to Madam Therapeutics.  “The recent investment clearly represents a growing commitment and understanding from the investment community to the development of new antimicrobial agents and reflects the potential of our drug programs.”

Jaap Wieling, a spokesmen of the investor group says: “This funding will allow Madam Therapeutics to take important steps forward with its lead candidate SAAP-148. Where most traditional antibiotics have a slow acting mechanism of action, SAAP-148 kills the bacteria very fast by attacking them directly from the outside, puncturing the cell membrane and make it deflate. Now with the backing of this solid investor base, the seasoned team will be able to explore the full potential of its technology”.

Ron Byron, Partner at Ekoy invest that helped to successfully put together the investment group says: “From my experience in marketing of antibiotics, I am very much aware of growing need for new antibiotics. Unless antibacterial development is re-energised, there is a serious risk that a growing proportion of infections, especially in hospitals, will become effectively untreatable leading to many unnecessary casualties.”

About Madam Therapeutics
Madam Therapeutics is a privately held company from the Netherlands that is developing Synthetic Anti-Microbial and Anti-Biofilm Peptides (SAAPs) to combat resistant bacterial infections. Our SAAPs have a powerful and fast killing effect towards a very broad spectrum of bacteria and have a very favorable tolerance profile. Our SAAPs combine two characteristics essential for such new strategies: powerful killing of (resistant) bacteria and limited likelihood of emerging resistance. To date, Madam Therapeutics and her academic partners have raised a substantial amount of non-dilutive funding for the development of a family of over 300 unique SAAPs and a pipeline of SAAP based products for multiple infectious diseases.
Madam Therapeutics is currently actively fundraising for the next stages of clinical trials and broadening its pipeline of products, besides looking for co-development partners for further development and commercialization of its products.

For more information, please contact:
Remko van Leeuwen
+31 71 2040 105 Extension 100

Investor relations:

National Alert System for Critical Antimicrobial Resistances: death rate as high as 50% for some bloodstream infections In Australia

The latest six-monthly report for the National Alert System for Critical Antimicrobial Resistance (CARAlert), released by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, highlights the continuing threat of antimicrobial resistance by dangerous bacteria.

Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (also known as CPE) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae continue to be the most commonly reported organisms with critical resistances to antimicrobials across Australia, according to the report. CPE is a Gram-negative bacteria that is routinely encountered in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, while N. gonorrhoeae is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection.

“The finding that CPE remains prevalent in Australian hospitals is concerning,” said the Commission’s Senior Medical Advisor for the AURA Surveillance System, Professor John Turnidge. “This group of bacteria has the ability to cause common infections, has limited treatment options and can have a death rate as high as 50% for bloodstream infections.


Emergence of a new multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli clone in the United States

A new study in Clinical Infectious Diseases describes the emergence of a new multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli clone in the United States.

In a multicenter surveillance study conducted at nine sites in four US cities (Seattle, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and New York) in 2016-2017, researchers collected 6,349 consecutive clinical E coli isolates from urine, blood, or wounds and tested them for susceptibility to antibiotics and production of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production. They performed additional analysis on fluoroquinolone-resistant (FQ-R) E coli isolates to determine clonal identity and resistance mechanisms. They were looking to gain further insight into hospital reports of the occurrence of FQ-R E coli belonging to the clonal group ST1193.

Of the 6,349 E coli isolates, 1,314 (20.7%) were FQ-R and represented 45 clonal groups overall. At each site, the most prevalent clonal group among FQ-R isolates was ST131 H30 (per-site mean, 45.4%), which emerged in the late 1990s and has become the most prevalent worldwide pandemic clonal group of multidrug-resistant E coli. The second most prevalent was ST1193 (23.2%). But while the prevalence of H30 did not change between 2016 and 2017, either overall (45.8% in 2016 vs. 46.1% in 2017) or at any single site, the prevalence of ST1193 increased both overall (18.4% in 2016 vs. 25.9% in 2017) and at six sites. In addition, at four sites that provided data on 2011 FQ-R isolates, ST1193 exhibited a seven-fold overall prevalence increase (3.4% in 2011 to 23.4% in 2016-2017).

In addition to being FQ-R, the ST1193 isolates were often co-resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and tetracycline, but unlike ST131 H30 remain susceptible to most beta-lactam antibiotics. The researchers also found that ST1193 E coli appears to target younger patients and is less likely to be isolated from blood.
The authors say the findings, along with reports of ST1193 being isolated in hospitals in Europe and Asia, suggest that ST1193 is likely to be a pandemic clonal group similar to H30. They conclude, “Discovery of the basis for the global expansion of ST1193 could provide insights into how successful clonal groups of multidrug-resistant E. coli emerge and what interventions could limit their spread.

Madam Therapeutics develops a new antibiotic called SAAP-148, that has as much higher barrier to resistance development compared to traditional antibiotics. SAAP-148 has demonstrated activity against multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli clones. SAAP-148 may therefore help to limit their spread


Source: CIDRAP / AMR-Insights