CAMBRIDGE, Mass., October 18, 2016—Spero Therapeutics, LLC, a biopharmaceutical company founded to develop novel therapies for the treatment of bacterial infections, today announced that it has received a $1.65 million award from the Department of Defense, Peer Reviewed Medical Research Programs, #W81XWH-16-2-0019 to conduct a study of the Company’s anti-infective Potentiator program.
The aim of the research program is to assess the ability of several candidates in the Spero Potentiator program to enhance the antibacterial activity of current antibiotics against multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens, such as Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Escherichia coli (E coli) in collaboration with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). Results of the study will help Spero identify promising antibiotic combinations to treat MDR, Gram-negative pathogens in future clinical studies.
“Spero is seeking to improve the potency and enhance the utility of many classes of new or existing antibiotics by combining them with our Potentiator candidates, which enable the antibiotic to penetrate the pathogen’s outer cell wall,” said Ankit Mahadevia, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Spero. “This grant will help us identify which lead candidates are most promising for the Spero Potentiator Program as we progress our Potentiator program toward the clinic.”
“Current treatment options for MDR, Gram-negative pathogens, are limited and new approaches are urgently required,” said LTC Stuart D. Tyner, Ph.D., Director, Bacterial Diseases Branch Chief, at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD. “Combat-related injuries are at high risk for serious infections and the U.S. military is dedicated to supporting the discovery and development of new treatment options for our current military service members, as well as our veterans and those we protect.”
About The Spero Potentiator Program
Spero’s Potentiator Program disrupts the cell membrane of Gram-negative bacteria to permit access of antimicrobial agents previously only active against Gram-positive pathogens. Molecules are designed to disrupt the cell wall of Gram-negative bacteria, permitting antimicrobial agents for Gram-positive bacteria access through the periplasm and cytoplasmic membrane. The Company presented preclinical efficacy, safety, potency, mechanism of action, and dosing data related to SPR741, the Company’s lead Potentiator candidate at ASM Microbe 2016.
Spero Therapeutics, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a product-focused biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of novel treatments for bacterial infections. The company’s pipeline of anti-infective agents is one of the most unique in the industry. The Spero Potentiator program provides the opportunity to increase the power of standard of care by enhancing existing drugs through a dramatic increase in their potency against multi-drug resistant gram-negative bacteria. The DHFR program is exploring a new approach to combatting drug resistance through expansion of a novel antifolate’s antibacterial spectrum to treat trimethoprim resistant Gram-negative bacteria. In September 2016, Spero joined the ENABLE (European Gram-negative Antibacterial Engine) project, which provides non-dilutive resources for the development of the DHFR program.
Spero’s pipeline of drug candidates may uniquely reduce the morbidity caused by severe infections and promote their clearance, including in bacterial strains highly resistant to even the most potent existing antibiotics. For more information, please visit https://sperotherapeutics.com.
Spectrum Science Communications:
Maia Arnold, PhD
Senior Scientific Executive