Israeli drug to overcome antibiotic resistance receives $20m. in funding

The drug would be used to mitigate the effects of antibiotic resistance

A cow opens its mouth during feeding at the Johann Dairy farm in Fresno, California, U.S. September 10, 2020. Picture taken September 10, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A cow opens its mouth during feeding at the Johann Dairy farm in Fresno, California, U.S. September 10, 2020. Picture taken September 10, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NovaQuest Capital Management in North Carolina announced a $20 million financing agreement with Israeli biopharmaceutical company Mileutis Ltd. whose products are used to mitigate the use of antibiotics in animals.
Antibiotic resistance, born from the over usage of antibiotics including in animals used in food production is a major global health problem. At least 2.8 million people contract an antibiotic-resistant infection, and more than 35,000 people die each year according to the US Center for Disease Control. Worldwide, it is estimated that antimicrobial resistance is responsible for 700,000 deaths each year globally, and that figure is predicted to rise to 10 million.
NovaQuest's investment will drive the continued development of and commercialization of Mileutis’ novel, biologically sourced, and residue-free therapies for animal health called Imilac™.
Mileutis plans to introduce Imilac™ for use in the management, treatment, and prevention of bovine mastitis. The disease causes inflammation to the udder, and is the most frequent disease in dairy herds worldwide while also being the most costly problem.
Mastitis is a serious medical disorder in dairy cattle, involving the mammary gland and udder tissue in dairy cows. The disease can impair milk-secreting tissues in the cattle and its impact on the global dairy industry is enormous. Dairy farmers experience losses due to lower milk production, lower quality of milk, and the loss of dairy cows from the disease. It can additionally cause billions of dollars in damage every year.
Currently, antibiotics are the main therapy used in treating mastitis and are routinely administered once a year in the beginning of the dry period - an important stage in the lactation period of the cow. However, antimicrobial resistance and the overuse of antibiotics has led researchers, regulators, policymakers and communities around the world to look for new and safer treatments.
In light of this, Mileutis developed Imilac™, one of the residue-free natural proteins that the company specializes in.
“Our vision goes beyond bringing Imilac™ to the dairy market. By replacing antibiotics in animals such as dairy cows with safer biopharmaceuticals, we will protect animals and save people from the health damages associated with the development of antibiotic resistance," said David Javier Iscovich, CEO and co-founder of Mileutis.
"Our platform, which acts by stimulating the immune system, will pave the way towards the development of additional therapies for both animal health and human health. The funding from NovaQuest is more than a vote of confidence in our company and products - it is a vote of confidence in our vision."
The Israeli biopharmaceutical company develops and commercializes natural peptides for animal and human health protein-based therapeutics. The biopharmaceutical products are focused on chronic and infectious diseases in order to enable significant reductions in antibiotic use in human and animal health management.
In the animal health market, Mileutis is developing drugs for mastitis and metritis, among other diseases. The company’s human health products involve bioactive peptides derived from milk proteins. The first line of products is comprised of peptides and specific protein fragments that have a positive impact on conditions that influence health and reduce antibiotic use in animal health management.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently issued a positive opinion on the safety of Mileutis’ leading product and platform. EMA recognized that Mileutis’ product, which consists of casein hydrolysate, does not require a Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) evaluation. This is viewed as an important milestone on the path to replacing the use of antibiotics in the dairy industry.
The partnership between Mileutis and NovaQuest represents the first investment by the investment company both in animal care and in an Israeli company.
NovaQuest Principal Brian Axe said that their company believes that "Mileutis’s product line and technology platform represent a paradigm shift that is much needed in the industry that will not only improve animal and human health by enabling more sustainable milk production, but will also enhance the wellbeing of dairy cows.”