Akthelia is developing treatments based on modulating our in-born immunity.
  • First product in development is an oral prophylactic treatment against chemically induced febrile neutropenia.
  • Second product is a topical treatment for wound healing

AKT-011 - Prophylaxis for Chemically induced Febrile neutropenia

  • Febrile neutropenia is the most common and serious, life-threatening complication associated with patients receiving chemotherapeutic regimens for cancer or who are immunocompromised to avoid transplant rejection. Neutropenic fever occurs in about 1% of patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, and its treatment is often an oncologic emergency. 
  • Akthelia's unique, innovative approach is to reduce this bacterial translocation by enhancing the barrier resistance of the GI tract to bacteria through upregulation of endogenous defence mechanisms. This holds the promise of a new standard of care treatment with potential to replace prophylactic use of fluoroquinolones and other antibiotics currently administered to patients at risk for febrile neutropenia, with reduced risk of SAEs, AMR, and microbiome dysbiosis.
  • Underlying this condition, bacteraemia has been causally linked to cytotoxic damage to the lining of the GI tract and other mucosa, leading the immunocompromised host to be open to invasion by infectious pathogens from their own microbiota.
  • A very significant unmet need exists. Mortality rates range from 5% up to 50% in some high-risk populations, with >60,000 cancer patients hospitalized annually in the US alone, and >4,000 deaths. The total cost of cancer-related neutropenia hospitalizations in the US in 2012 was $2.3 billion for adults and $439 million for children, accounting for more than 8% of all cancer-related hospitalization costs.
  • Akthelia's lead candidate AKT-011 is aimed at the gastro-intestinal system and has low bio-availability. The compound acts locally with less systemic risk of toxicity outside treatment area.
  • AKT-011 has high permeability into epithelial cells which is important as epithelial cells are the targets that express host defense peptides.
  • Akthelia has promising data that shows that its lead small molecule drug candidate effectively knocks down translocation in animal models and it is currently completing pre-clinical studies to demonstrate translatable survival benefit.

Wound Healing

  • Non-healing wounds are a significant clinical problem. A World Health Organization report stated that each year, in North America, between 5 and 7 million chronic and/or complex wounds occur with devastating effects on health and the economy of the population. Despite the alarming prevalence and high costs of care, efficient treatments are still lacking.
  • Akthelia's approach is a novel pharmaceutical treatment to treat chronic non-healing wounds. A characteristic of such wounds is that expression of host defense peptides (AMP) is severely reduced. Akthelia's compounds induce the production of such peptides and may therefore speed up wound healing. In addition to fighting infections, AMPs are also key effector molecules in the wound healing process. Importantly, their expression has been shown to be low in non-healing wounds and the prediction is that reduced AMP expression contributes to the non-healing stage some wounds can enter, especially diabetic wounds. 
  • Akthelia is currently in lead optimization phase and conducting pre-clinical in vivo studies in collaboration with the Biomedical Center at the university of Iceland and with funded by a grant from RANNíS.