Prokaryotics Receives $2.3 Million SBIR Award Supporting Its Immune Potentiation Program and Advances Two Additional SBIR-funded Antibiotic Programs into Phase 2 Lead Optimization
Union, NJ – Aug 1, 2019 — Prokaryotics Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel anti-infective drugs, announced today that it has been awarded its third Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant valued at up to $2.3 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This 3-year fast track to Phase 2 award will fund an innovative therapeutic strategy developed by Prokaryotics aimed at hypersensitizing antimicrobial resistant (AMR) Gram-negative (GN) bacterial pathogens to the host innate immune system.
For the first phase of the program (R44AI145409-01), $295,541 will fund mechanism of action and bacterial spectrum studies of recently identified small molecules that enhance the bactericidal activity of the human immune system to clear bacterial infections. Contingent on the success of the first phase, Phase 2 funding of nearly $2.0 million will be used to drive their development through medicinal chemistry lead optimization, pharmacology, and in vivo efficacy studies. Separately, Prokaryotics has also now successfully advanced two additional SBIR-funded programs targeting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (1R44AI136213-01) and multi-drug resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae (1R44AI138688-01) into the Phase 2 lead optimization stage.
We are extremely grateful to the NIH and NIAID for their support of our immune potentiation platform as well as other highly innovative programs within our portfolio. Through the NIAID and its SBIR program, we have aligned with an invaluable partner who shares our belief that entirely novel approaches to antibiotic discovery and development are required to address the global threat and rising incidence of AMR bacteria and the life-threatening infections they cause.
— Terry Roemer, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Prokaryotics Inc.
About Antimicrobial Resistant (AMR) Bacteria
The relentless advance of antibiotic drug resistant bacteria has raised concerns whether within the next 2-3 decades we could be facing a ‘pre-antibiotic era’ where existing antibiotics will become largely ineffective in treating serious and life-threatening infections. Indeed, the World Health Organization has projected that the impact on human health and economic costs associated with antibiotic drug resistance will rival that of global warming. New classes of antibiotics with entirely novel mechanisms of action effective against AMR bacteria are urgently needed to combat the growing threat.
About Prokaryotics, Inc.
Prokaryotics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company founded on Merck & Co out-licensed antibiotic assets under development to treat life-threatening AMR bacterial infections. Prokaryotics leverages its deep expertise in bacterial physiology, medicinal chemistry, collaborative spirit, and scientific passion to discover and develop new classes of antibiotics targeting outer membrane biogenesis – the fundamental armor erected by bacteria to naturally withstand the effects of antibiotics and innate immunity.
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