Vast Therapeutics Announces Publication of Potential New Treatment for Non-tuberculosis Mycobacteria Infections
Company targets novel inhaled therapies for drug-resistant chronic airway infections
Morrisville, N.C., January 17, 2024 - Vast Therapeutics announces publication of a manuscript in the journal of Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy describing the utility of its novel nitric oxide-releasing drug candidate targeting infections caused by non-tuberculosis mycobacteria (NTM). The preclinical results demonstrate in vivo bactericidal activity in both acute and chronic animal models of NTM infection with no evidence of drug resistance. At the optimal dose, the NO-releasing prodrug showed >99% reduction in Mycobacterium abscessus levels within the lungs of infected rodents when dosed once daily for a period of 7 days.
“This work is incomparable to any treatment strategy currently prescribed by clinicians to treat NTM,” stated Dr. Mark Schoenfisch, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Vast Therapeutics, and senior author of the study. “The broad-spectrum activity of our drug candidate plus the ability to kill mycobacteria that have invaded immune cells without engendering antimicrobial resistance is
There are approximately 90,000 patients in the U.S. with NTM pulmonary disease (NTM-PD) where initial diagnoses are followed by a decline in quality of life, hospitalizations, and increased mortality. The 5-year mortality rate for these patients is approximately 1 out of every 3 individuals. With the prevalence rising at 11% per year among Medicare participants, NTM-PD represents a growing public health concern.
Current treatment approaches to NTM-PD require a cocktail of three or more daily antibiotics for over 12 months. None of these commonly used treatment regimens have been shown to be categorically safe, well-tolerated, or effective at resolving clinical endpoints.
Mycobacteria readily develop resistance to these prolonged antibiotic regimens. Mycobacterium
abscessus, the focus of Dr. Schoenfisch’s work, is a difficult multi-drug resistant bacteria for which there are currently no FDA-approved treatments. For M. abscessus infections, the median healthcare costs approach $50,000, largely driven by inpatient-treatment costs.
“We believe a new product that can greatly reduce the use of ineffective, maintenance antibiotics that continue to propagate global antibiotic resistance will have significant patient and pharmacoeconomic benefits worldwide,” concluded Schoenfisch.
About Vast Therapeutics
Vast is a life science company focused on breaking the debilitating cycle of infection and chronic inflammation in respiratory diseases. This cycle affects patients across the entire spectrum of human life, ranging from children with rare orphan diseases like Cystic Fibrosis to adults with highly prevalent diseases like COPD. We believe our product candidates may provide an effective treatment for patients infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, NTM, and other drug-resistant microbes.
Chief Executive Officer
Vast Therapeutics, Inc.