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Centauri Therapeutics given nearly £1m government grant for drug-resistant bacteria research

By Chris Price

A biotechnology company has been awarded up to £945,000 to continue its research into treatment for infectious diseases.

Centauri Therapeutics, based in Discovery Park, Sandwich, has been given the money for its work helping patients suffering from infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria.

It was awarded the cash from the government’s Innovate UK agency as part of a programme aimed at beating gram-negative bacteria, which are a major cause of deaths in patients who contract pneumonia at hospital.

Centauri Therapeutics has been awarded nearly £1 million to continue its research into treatments for drug-resistant bacteria. Picture: Caroline Davis2010

Centauri’s Alphamer drug mechanism injects manufactured molecules into the body to encourage natural antibodies to attack pathogens – effectively helping the immune system to fight diseases.

Unlike traditional vaccines, this approach aims to treat infected patients and generates a stronger response from the body.

Its latest round of research – which is expected to take two years – is expected to cost nearly £1.4 million, with the rest of the costs covered by the company’s existing investors.

Centauri chief executive Dr Mike Westby said the cash injection showed the government’s confidence in the company’s techniques.

He added: “The lack of new antibiotics combined with increasing incidence of bacterial resistance in the clinic has been termed ‘the perfect storm’ and there is an urgent need for innovative methods and efficacious therapies.”

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