ContraFect Awarded Funding from CARB-X to Support Gram-Negative Lysin Program
- Category: Proteins and Peptides
- Published on Thursday, 30 March 2017 17:40
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YONKERS, NY, USA I March 30, 2017 I ContraFect Corporation (CFRX), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of protein and antibody therapeutics for life-threatening, drug-resistant infectious diseases, today announced that it has been selected to receive a funding award from the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X). This award will help accelerate ContraFect's development of lysin therapeutics to treat invasive infections caused by drug resistant strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), a potentially life threatening Gram-negative pathogen. Lysins are a new therapeutic class of bacteriophage-derived, recombinantly produced, antimicrobial proteins with a novel mechanism of action associated with the rapid killing of target bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains.
"The emergence of Gram-negative bacteria which are resistant to conventional antibiotics is considered a major global health threat. The CARB-X award highlights the urgency to develop antimicrobials with novel mechanisms to combat resistant Gram-negative bacteria, such as P. aeruginosa. We are excited to continue to advance the development of our lysins for the treatment of P. aeruginosa infections with the support of CARB-X," said Cara Cassino, M.D., Executive Vice President of Research & Development and Chief Medical Officer of ContraFect.
ContraFect is eligible to receive a total of $2.1 million of funding from CARB-X over the next two years. The award will consist of $1.1 million in initial funding, and subsequent additional awards totaling $1.0 million upon the achievement of certain objectives.
CARB-X is the world's largest public-private partnership devoted to antibacterial preclinical R&D. Funded by BARDA, Wellcome Trust, and NIAID, it 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-negative organisms. 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 them on Twitter @CARB_X.
ContraFect is a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing therapeutic protein and antibody products for life-threatening, drug-resistant infectious diseases, particularly those treated in hospital settings. An estimated 700,000 deaths worldwide each year are attributed to antimicrobial-resistant infections. We intend to address life threatening infections using our therapeutic product candidates from our lysin and monoclonal antibody platforms to target conserved regions of either bacteria or viruses (regions that are not prone to mutation). ContraFect's initial product candidates include new agents to treat antibiotic-resistant infections such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and influenza. ContraFect is also conducting research focused on the discovery of lysins to target Gram-negative bacteria.
About Gram-negative Infections
The 2013 CDC report on Antibiotic Resistance Threats identifies several Gram-negative pathogens including Enterobacteriaceae (a family that includes Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp.), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter spp. as among the most worrisome because of strains that are resistant to all or nearly all available antibiotics. In particular, the CDC classifies Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) as an "Urgent" threat and multi-drug resistant P. aeruginosa and Acinetobacter spp. as "Serious" threats. Bacteria are generally classified as either Gram-positive or Gram-negative based on their staining in the "Gram" strain test.