Opsonix is developing and commercializing a pathogen-extracting therapy that uses its proprietary pathogen-capture proteins to remove infectious microbes and the toxins they release from circulating blood, offering a new broad-spectrum approach to transform the treatment of bloodstream infections and sepsis. Our therapy is designed to improve patient outcomes and address the greater than 30% mortality rate that patients with sepsis experience today.1
Opsonix’s pathogen-capture proteins are engineered versions of human opsonins—molecular components of the innate immune system that help to clear our bodies of pathogens and released toxins. Our most advanced pathogen-capture protein, FcMBL, binds all types of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses, as well as many toxins. The pathogen-extracting therapy incorporates FcMBL into an extracorporeal medical device to remove infectious agents from circulating blood in patients with systemic infections.
For most patients with sepsis, the identity of the causative infectious agent is never known, and physicians treat with general, broad-spectrum antibiotics. While these antibiotics can be life-saving, they are not effective when the pathogen is resistant to the drug, or if the infection is caused by a virus, fungus or parasite. With Opsonix’s FcMBL-based therapy that removes all classes of pathogens as well as toxins, effective bloodstream infection treatment can be initiated early when it is most needed without having to first identify the disease-causing agent. In animal studies, this broad-spectrum pathogen-extracting therapy has been shown to synergize with conventional antibiotics, and to clear blood of antibiotic-resistant organisms. So while Opsonix’s blood-cleansing therapy can be used in concert with conventional therapies, it also can be used to treat patients when no other therapeutic options are available. Opsonix’s new therapeutic capability should therefore greatly reduce the mortality rates from sepsis, which currently contributes to 1 in every 2 to 3 hospital deaths in the United States alone2, and provide an entirely new weapon to combat the rise in antibiotic-resistant organisms.
Opsonix was launched in 2015 with a Series A financing led by Baxter Ventures and an exclusive license to worldwide rights to a robust intellectual property portfolio from Harvard University covering engineered opsonin proteins and their use in pathogen-extracting devices and companion diagnostics. The company’s founding team pioneered the development of the pathogen-capture proteins and pathogen-extracting therapies at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.
2 Liu V et al JAMA 2014 Jul 2;312(1):90-2.