Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is a significant public health issue, especially in the nursing home and hospital population.
MRSA remains an important and leading cause of hospital-acquired and healthcare-associated pneumonia. MRSA pneumonia is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, which accounts for 20-40% of all hospital associated pneumonias. The mortality of MRSA pneumonia is around 50% but could be as high as 80% in the elderly. With the high rate of mortality, MRSA pneumonia is also associated with significant complications such as requirement of ventilator use, dialysis, and longer ICU stays.
The current treatment for MRSA pneumonia is typically limited to vancomycin and linezolid, yet both therapies are limited by side effects. Despite these treatments, MRSA pneumonia is still associated with a high mortality rate. There are further common pulmonary complications of MRSA pneumonia such as pulmonary abscesses, pleural empyema, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
One of the main factors in the high virulence of MRSA infection is its release of toxins. Most notably, the alpha toxin released by MRSA bacteria causes damages to host cells. CTI-005 is a nanosponge that is derived from natural human red blood cell membranes. Given that it retains all the natural occurring proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids that a natural red blood cell has, CTI-005 acts as a natural decoy for the treatment of MRSA pneumonia. CTI-005 outcompetes native cells for toxins so instead of the toxins causing damages to host cells, it gets neutralized by the nanosponges. Animals with MRSA pneumonia treated with CTI-005 has demonstrated significant mortality benefit as compared to control animals. CTI-005 is an attractive clinical therapy for this significant unmet need.