SAN DIEGO, Aug. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Forge Therapeutics, Inc. (Forge), a biotechnology company developing novel medicines targeting metalloenzymes, announced today that, based on achievement of technical milestones, it has received notice from CARB-X to proceed with the next stage of product funding for its novel IV/Oral LpxC antibiotic to treat urinary tract infections including MDR infections caused by CRE and ESBL. In March 2017, CARB-X selected Forge as one of the first recipients of a novel cost-sharing award to advance promising antibacterial candidates through the early stages of development. To date, Forge has earned $4.8M over 15 months from CARB-X and is now eligible to receive up to $4M in additional support.
"CARB-X funds the best science and most promising research projects around the world to address drug resistance and superbug infections," said Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X. "Our diverse Powered by CARB-X pipeline, which includes Forge's LpxC antibiotic, continues to expand with new mechanisms of action, new treatment modalities and increased funding. Our milestone-based funding is designed to reinforce success with early-stage research projects. Congratulations to Forge."
"The fight against multi-drug resistant bacteria continues to escalate as antibiotic resistance is steadily rising. Together with our partners from CARB-X and Evotec AG, we are at the forefront of this fight, strategically equipped to drive innovation and create life-saving antibiotics," said Zachary A. Zimmerman, Ph.D., CEO of Forge. "With achievement of this technical milestone, Forge remains well-suited to advance our novel Gram-negative antibiotic to the clinic."
CARB-X is the world's largest public-private partnership accelerating early development antibacterial research and development. CARB-X is investing more than $500M to support innovative antibiotics and is supported by its partners around the globe including BARDA, NIH, Wellcome Trust, California Life Science Institute, RTI, Mass Biotech Council, Boston University, and most recently, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK government.
About LpxC and the 'Superbug' Epidemic
Millions of people around the globe have become infected with bacteria that are resistant to current antibiotic treatments, or 'superbugs', creating a global health epidemic. An estimated 700,000 deaths occur each year worldwide from these drug-resistant infections, and in the U.S. alone, an estimated 23,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections. The biotechnology industry, leading government agencies and world leaders agree that the need for new antibiotics is urgent.
LpxC is an attractive and highly sought-after antibiotic target – it is conserved across Gram-negative bacteria and not found in Gram-positive bacteria or human cells. Other LpxC inhibitors have been evaluated by biopharma in the past but chemistry limitations (e.g. hydroxamic acid) have yielded ineffective compounds that suffer from poor drug-like properties. Thus, there are no approved therapeutics targeting LpxC. Forge, using its proprietary chemistry platform, has developed novel non-hydroxamate inhibitors of LpxC that are safe and effective in an animal model of Gram-negative infection and are able to kill Gram-negative 'superbugs' where other antibiotics are ineffective.
About CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator)
CARB-X is the world's largest public-private partnership accelerating early development antibacterial R&D. CARB-X is investing more than $500 million from 2016-2021 to support innovative antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines, rapid diagnostics and devices to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections. In its first two years, CARB-X has built the world's largest and most innovative pipeline of preclinical products against drug-resistant infections. CARB-X focuses exclusively on high priority drug-resistant bacteria, especially Gram-negatives. CARB-X is funded by US Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Wellcome Trust, a global charity based in the UK working to improve health globally, the UK Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (UK GAMRIF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with in-kind support from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). CARB-X is based at Boston University in the School of Law. Other partners include RTI International, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, MassBio, and the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI). https://carb-x.org/
About Forge Therapeutics
At Forge Therapeutics, we are developing medicines targeting metal-dependent enzymes found in nature. Over 30% of known enzymes are metalloenzymes, covering all major enzyme classes: oxidoreductases, transferases, hydrolases, lyases, isomerases, and ligases. Metal ions, including magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese and copper are the essential ingredient in these metalloenzymes. At Forge, we are the BLACKSMITHS of modern medicine, providing the tools to address any metalloenzyme challenge.
Forge's lead effort is focused on LpxC, a zinc metalloenzyme found only in Gram-negative bacteria, which is essential for bacteria to grow. Forge has a strategic drug discovery alliance with Evotec AG and has been awarded multiple government awards including CARB-X. In addition, Forge has amassed a rich intellectual property estate on metalloenzyme-targeted inhibitors to protect its BLACKSMITH platform and pipeline including technology licensed from UCSD. For further information, please visit the company's website www.ForgeTherapeutics.com and follow us on Twitter @ForgeThera.