Penicillin-Binding Protein (PBP) Program
Penicillin-Binding Proteins (PBPs) are a family of essential bacterial enzymes involved in the synthesis of peptidoglycan, the major component of the bacterial cell wall. β-lactam antibiotics bind to PBPs, disrupting the cell wall and killing bacteria. Unfortunately, many bacteria have acquired enzymes, β-lactamases, which destroy the β-lactam and provide the bacteria with resistance to the antibiotic. The recent spread of these enzymes amongst gram negative bacteria (in particular, Enterobacteriaceae) is significantly compromising the clinical utility of β-lactam antibiotics.
VenatoRx is developing a novel class of non-β-lactam small molecule inhibitors that target penicillin binding proteins of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria but that are not susceptible to resistance caused by β-lactamase enzymes. Success in this endeavor would provide clinicians with a powerful new treatment option against problematic, multi-drug resistant pathogens.