Senior VP, Research, Oragenics
Oragenics (NYSE: OGEN) is a clinical-stage biotech focused on the development of live bacterial biotherapeutics for oral mucositis and in pre-clinical development of lantibiotics for the treatment of serious and prevalent infectious diseases.
Lantibiotics have been challenging to investigate for their clinical usefulness due to difficulties in manufacturing sufficient quantities of pure amounts of these molecules. Mutacin 1140 (MU1140) is a lanthipeptide isolated from Streptococcus mutans that has shown activity against all Gram positive bacteria against which it has been tested. A variant of MU1140 was engineered and triaged from a library of over 700 single and multiple variants of MU1140, ultimately identifying OG716 as the lead compound against C. difficile associated disease. In pre-clinical studies, OG716 showed an in vitro potency equal or superior to “standard of care” drugs against drug-resistant bacteria, in addition to better safety, toxicity, stability profiles and adequate manufacturability. In vivo testing of OG716 substantiated that it is an orally-active compound with excellent efficacy and with a positive effect on relapse, when compared to controls. Through our collaboration with Intrexon, we continue to develop derivatives of MU1140 to expand the pipeline with several other indications.
Martin took over the scientific direction of Oragenics in December of 2011 and served as Director R&D since January 2009. Prior to joining Oragenics, he held a position as Tenured Associate Professor at the Center for Molecular Microbiology and the Department of Oral Biology at the University of Florida College of Dentistry, where he co-invented IVIAT and co-founded iviGene Corp. and Epicure Corp. to commercialize this and related technologies. Martin holds a B.S. degree in Biochemistry, and a MS degree and PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the Université Laval College of Medicine in Canada. He did postdoctoral training at the University of Florida under the mentorship of Oragenics’ Founder, Dr. Jeffrey D. Hillman (ret.). He is the (co)-author of over 50 publications and holds over 6 patents.