Procarta Biosystems, a privately held UK-based biotech company, today announced a CARB-X award of up to $9.2m to progress its pipeline of antibiotic precision medicines.
The award includes initial non-dilutive funding up to $2.2 million with a further $7.0 million available if certain project milestones are met. The new antibiotics are based on Procarta’s proprietary oligonucleotide-based antimicrobial platform and will target potentially life-threatening infections caused by Gram-negative ESKAPE pathogens.
“This new award from CARB-X recognises the value of the novel modalities in our pipeline and their potential to precipitate a paradigm shift in antimicrobial treatments, said Dr Andrew Lightfoot, PhD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of Procarta. “We are delighted to have support from CARB-X recognising the importance of developing new antibiotics to combat antimicrobial resistance.”
“This award from CARB-X follows closely on a €1.5m investment from the Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund. Together, these new funds will be used to progress our lead asset, PRO-202 and to develop our proprietary drug discovery platform to build a pipeline of antimicrobial agents to cover the ESKAPE pathogens.”
Procarta’s lead asset, PRO-202, is in preclinical development to treat complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) and complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI). The ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) are responsible for a significant proportion of cUTIs and cIAIs throughout the world and represent the greatest risk of antibiotic resistance of all clinical infections.
Part of Procarta’s award from CARB-X will come from funds provided by the UK Government’s Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF). GAMRIF is an Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund which allocates support for projects that promote the welfare and economic development of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
The PRO-202 project qualifies for the GAMRIF program due to its predicted efficacy against Salmonella, Shigella and Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacterial strains. These bacteria are the leading causes of typhoid and diarrheal disease in the developing world.