CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Spero Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company founded to develop novel therapies for the treatment of bacterial infections, announced today that it has been awarded up to $6.8 million from CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Accelerator). The non-dilutive funding will be used to screen, identify and complete Phase I trials with at least one partner compound for SPR741, Spero's lead Potentiator candidate.
CARB-X was launched in August 2016 to accelerate pre-clinical product development in the area of antibiotic-resistant infections, one of the world's greatest health threats. CARB-X was established by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health.
"Preclinical studies showed SPR741 to be highly effective against Gram-negative bacteria when paired with multiple existing antibiotics. Our collaboration with CARB-X allows us to broaden our understanding of SPR741's potential to expand the capabilities of current antibiotics, as well as those still under development," said Dr. Troy Lister, Head of Chemistry at Spero Therapeutics. "The resources and support available through CARB-X makes a project of this magnitude feasible and will ultimately help accelerate our efforts to deliver new treatments to patients."
The award commits funding of $1.5 million, with the possibility of up to $6.8 million based on successful progression through milestones established by CARB-X. As part of the CARB-X portfolio, Spero will have access to NIAID preclinical services and resources, as well as additional wrap-around business and drug development support services from leaders in the world's most innovative biotech hubs in Boston, California and London.
Projects selected to be part of the Powered by CARB-X portfolio were chosen through a competitive process from numerous applicants from around the world. All projects must target one of the deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified as urgent or serious threats and which are increasingly resistant to most available antibiotics.
"Tackling the global problem of antibiotic resistance will take a coordinated effort, and public-private partnerships like CARB-X play a critical role in accelerating the discovery and development of new antibiotics," said Ankit Mahadevia, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Spero. "We are honored to have been selected for this award during the inaugural round of CARB-X projects, which offers Spero an excellent opportunity to continue our work of improving the potency and enhancing the utility of many classes of new or existing antibiotics."
The founding members of CARB-X have committed $450 million in new funds over the next five years to increase the number of antibacterial products in the drug development pipeline. It reflects a new approach to how antibacterial research and drug development is funded and how products are accelerated to the clinic. The CARB-X goal is to move promising antibacterial candidates through the critical early stages of product development so they can attract additional private or public investment for clinical stage development.
"CARB-X is a bold new approach to developing life-saving treatments for antibiotic-resistant infections. By accelerating promising research, it is our hope that we can speed up the delivery of new effective antibacterials, vaccines, devices and rapid diagnostics to patients who need them," said Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X and Professor of Law at Boston University, in announcing the funding at a special event at The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington.
CARB-X is the world's largest public-private partnership devoted to antibacterial preclinical R&D. Funded by BARDA and Wellcome Trust, with in-kind support from NIAID, we will spend $450 million from 2017-2021 to support innovative products moving towards human clinical trials. CARB-X focuses on high priority drug-resistant bacteria, especially Gram-negatives. CARB-X is a charitable global public-private partnership led by Boston University School of Law. Other partners include the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, MassBio, the California Life Sciences Institute and RTI International. For more information, please visit www.carb-x.org and follow us on Twitter @CARB_X.
About The Spero Potentiator Platform
Spero's Potentiator Platform comprises novel chemical designed to specifically and potently interact with the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. LPS acts as the persistent barrier to entry for many antimicrobial agents, including most Gram-positive antibiotics and disruption of this barrier by SPR741 allows access to otherwise impermeable compounds. Spero in-licensed the rights to SPR741 from Northern Antibiotics, Espoo, Finland.
SPR741 is Spero's lead Potentiator candidate. Preclinical studies of SPR741 in combination with Gram-positive antibiotics have shown success in reducing the bacterial burden of infections caused by several common drug-resistant pathogens, including Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Spero communicated the preclinical broad-spectrum efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics of SPR741 in 14 posters and an oral presentation at ASM Microbe 2016 in Boston, MA. SPR741 is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials.
Spero Therapeutics is a global multi-asset clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts dedicated to developing a novel and highly differentiated pipeline of antibacterials focused on unmet needs of patients with drug resistant bacterial infections. Spero Therapeutics is advancing two lead programs in parallel, SPR741 and SPR994. SPR741, also called Potentiator, is a platform approach to combination therapy to treat serious and life-threatening multi-drug resistant Gram-negative infections, such as Enterobacteriaceae and Acinetobacter baumannii, including carbapenem resistant strains. SPR741 increases the spectrum and potency of more than two dozen classes of Gram-positive antibiotics to include activity against multidrug resistant Gram-negative infections when used in combination. SPR994 is a novel oral agent that has demonstrated potent in–vitro activity against a wide variety of gram-negative bacteria, including extended spectrum beta lactamases (ESBLs), and gram-positive bacteria. Spero Therapeutics also has a robust preclinical pipeline including SPR720, which is a preclinical oral therapeutic candidate for nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) lung disease, a rare and often chronic fatal infection. In addition, Spero Therapeutics has a variety of other discovery stage antimicrobials focused on drug-resistant infections.
For more information, please visit https://sperotherapeutics.com
SOURCE Spero Therapeutics