Malvern, PA, January 4, 2018 — Venatorx Pharmaceuticals, a private company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel therapies for highly drug resistant bacterial infections, announced that it has been awarded up to $16 million from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. The funding will support discovery and pre-clinical development of a novel, first-in-class antibiotic for biodefense applications. The project derives from the company’s proprietary platform of non-beta-lactam penicillin binding protein inhibitors (PBPi).
Bacteria express enzymes, known as beta-lactamases, as a very efficient way to inactivate beta-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin. Today, there are more than 2,000 identified beta-lactamase enzymes. “A non-beta-lactam class of antibiotics would circumvent more than 70 years of clinical bacterial resistance and represents a powerful countermeasure for first line treatment of infections caused by potential drug-resistant bacterial bioweapons, including Burkholderia spp., Yersinia pestis, and Francisella tularensis,” said Daniel Pevear, Ph.D., Founder and SVP of Biology at Venatorx.
“We are very pleased and grateful to DTRA for their support and validation of this ground-breaking program,” said Christopher Burns, Ph.D., Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Venatorx. “Bacterial drug resistance is a critical health issue and innovative new classes of antibiotics are urgently needed.” The award provides up to $5.1 million in the base period and up to $16 million in total.
About Venatorx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Venatorx Pharmaceuticals is a private pharmaceutical company founded in 2010 dedicated to the discovery and development of novel agents to address the threat of antibiotic bacterial resistance. Its lead clinical program combines VNRX-5133, a novel, broad-spectrum ?-lactamase inhibitor, with a marketed ?-lactam antibiotic. For more information, please visit www.venatorx.com.
The project is supported by DTRA under Contract No. HDTRA117C0070.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” concerning the development of the company’s products, the potential benefits and attributes of such products, and the company’s expectations regarding its prospects. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause actual future events or results to differ materially from such statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release. Actual results may vary. Venatorx undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements for any reason.