Prokaryotics Receives $385,000 R21 NIH Grant Supporting A Fourth Novel Antibiotic Program

Union, NJ – August 19, 2020 — 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 an R21 grant valued at up to $385,000 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The two-year agreement will fund research by Prokaryotics on a cell envelope synthesis inhibitor targeting resistant Gram negative bacteria such as carbapenem resistant enterococci (CRE), which cause a variety of dangerous human infections and have been designated a Priority 1 ‘critical superbug’ by the WHO and an Urgent Threat by the CDC.

This grant (1 R21AI146541-01A1) will support a medicinal chemistry effort to interrogate the chemical tractability of the various hits as well as the development of a platform of tools and assays, including structural biology, in vitro and whole cell assays to iteratively support SAR studies and lead progression.  This should position the program to solicit additional funding for commencement of a Lead ID/Lead Opt effort, ultimately allowing identification of a development candidate.

“We are delighted to receive this R21 grant, which will allow us to begin to explore yet another novel target involved in the synthesis of the bacterial cell envelope,” stated Terry Roemer, Ph.D., founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Prokaryotics.

NIAID’s leadership in providing research funding is critical for the development of novel antibiotics for patients with infections caused by multi-drug resistant pathogens, including resistant Gram negative organisms.  The non-dilutive funding we are receiving from NIH is enabling us to pursue a pre-Series A seed stage financing for Prokaryotics that will allow us to simultaneously advance all of our antibacterial programs prior to receiving more substantial financing to enable clinical activities.

— Keith Bostian, Prokaryotics Acting CEO.