Our Mission:
To develop a new class of broad-spectrum antibacterial agents that overcome
the severe limitations of today’s antibiotics and the crisis of multi-antibiotic
resistant strains of bacteria that cause severe and life-threatening infections.
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We are developing a novel therapeutic approach to treat pathogenic bacteria. Our drugs inhibit the production of virulence factors that are often toxic and allow bacteria to cause diseases within the host. Virulence factors help bacteria invade, colonize, evade and suppress the immune system, and produce toxins that can harm or kill the hosts. Regulation of virulence factors is how bacteria establish an infection, survive in a hostile environment, and cause pathology of specific diseases. Our antivirulence drugs “disarm” bacteria, making them less harmful and allowing the body’s immune system to clear them out of the body.

 

These drugs can overcome multi-antibiotic resistant “superbugs” and they do not affect the good bacteria in our bodies. Furthermore, unlike conventional antibiotics, these drugs do not directly kill bacteria or block their proliferation, thus will have less selective pressure for generating drug resistance or cross resistance with current antibiotics.

+
illnesses a year
+
deaths a year

In the United States caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria 

CDC National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria 2014

Our first-in-class small molecule antivirulence drugs were discovered using proprietary bacterial gene regulation screens and computer simulations with structure-based drug design. Our optimized, patent protected lead compounds have a new antibacterial mechanism that:

 

  • Reduce production of virulence factors and interfere with bacteria adaption to environment change, thus making bacteria more vulnerable to host immunity and natural defense
  • Differ from conventional antibiotics, and do not directly kill bacteria or block their proliferation; less selective pressure for drug resistance
  • Active only against pathogenic bacteria, potentially preserving gut microbiota (normal flora) and not cause dysbiosis as do classical antibiotics
  • Demonstrate in vivo efficacy against both Gram positive (S. aureus, S. pyogenes) and Gram negative (P. aeruginosa, E. coli) pathogens in models of pneumonia, wound infections (biofilm), and food poisoning
  • Demonstrate synergy with other antibiotics and reversal of resistance
  • Protects against MRSA and vancomycin resistant strains
  • Using nanotechnology for proprietary formulation development (Topical, Oral & IV)
+$B
excess direct healthcare costs
+$B
lost productivity costs

A year due to antibiotic-resistant infections

The economic threat of antibiotic-resistant infections is projected by a $20 billion in excess direct healthcare costs and up to $35 billion in lost productivity due to hospitalization and sick days according to the CDC. On the global impact, it is predicted that, if resistance cannot be curbed, deaths per year will balloon to 10 million by 2050, and cost the world up to 3.5 percent of its total gross domestic product, approximately $100 trillion (Review on Antimicrobial Resistance 2014 British Government).

 

The current economic impact for specific types of infections, which our drugs address is significant:

  • A case of healthcare-associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) costs $24,00-$94,707
  • The cost to isolate a patient with MRSA is $1,250-3,000 per day
  • MRSA causes an annual burden of $478 million to $2.2 billion on third-party payers and $1.4-13.8 billion on society in USA
  • Cystic fibrosis Pneumonia/Biofilm due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus: $49,000 per patient/year
  • Wound Infections and chronic wound treatment cost the medical system $25B and Diabetic Foot Ulcers cost $9-13B per year
  • Urinary tract infections the most common bacterial infections (75-95% Uropathogenic E.Coli), affecting 150 million people each year worldwide; Societal costs, including health care costs and time missed from work, are over US $3.5 billion per year in the US alone