BOSTON, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today the initiation of the next phase of the Company's program to develop tetracycline-derived antimalarial therapeutics for treatment and prophylaxis of malaria. Under a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Paratek will receive approximately $1 million for each of two years to develop oral agents against Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite responsible for the most common and deadly form of malaria. The Phase II grant was awarded to Paratek as a result of earlier studies demonstrating the potential for the development of improved tetracycline-based compounds for use in the fight against malaria. These earlier studies were conducted in collaboration with Dr. Philip Rosenthal, Director of Pediatric Hepatology and a professor of Pediatrics and Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. The focus of the proposed studies under the Phase II grant will be to further optimize the compounds with the goal of selecting preclinical candidates at the end of the two years. According to Dr. Michael Draper, Associate Director at Paratek, "Tetracyclines are already an important class of drug in the fight against malaria, yet their broad-spectrum antibacterial activity is a disadvantage that potentially contributes to the problem of antibacterial resistance. By applying innovative chemistries to minimize the antibacterial effects and improve the antimalarial potency of compounds, we have been able to create novel tetracyclines that are optimized for use in non-bacterial conditions like malaria." Malaria infects an estimated 300 to 500 million people around the world. P. falciparum infections, in particular, kill more than one million annually, mostly young children and pregnant women. Just as numerous bacterial pathogens are outwitting the latest antibiotics, so too are malarial parasites increasingly resistant to available medications. About Paratek Pharmaceuticals Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is engaged in the discovery and commercialization of new therapeutics that treat serious and life-threatening diseases, with a particular focus on the growing worldwide problem of antibiotic resistance. Paratek's lead programs are advancing novel compounds that can circumvent or block bacterial resistance, as well as drugs that can prevent infection by interfering with Multiple Adaptational Response (MAR) mechanisms in bacteria. Out of these efforts, Paratek has discovered a new class of antibiotics, the aminomethylcyclines that target the need for new and potent antibacterials to overcome the problem of rapidly growing bacterial resistance. The Company's lead antibiotic clinical candidate, PTK 0796/BAY 73-7388, the first product from this class, is being developed in a collaborative partnership with Bayer HealthCare AG. Outside the antibacterial therapeutic area, Paratek has also established an internal effort to exploit its novel families of compounds and their unique mechanism of action in selected anti-inflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions. Paratek has an active chemical synthesis effort to produce novel and diverse small molecules, with the goal of developing non-antibacterial products with improved activity in serious diseases based upon a growing body of clinical and basic research supporting this approach. Paratek is privately held and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. For more information, visit Paratek's website at http://www.paratekpharm.com.
SOURCE Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc.