NIAID awards contract for biothreat antibiotic candidate

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded antibiotics firm Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals a contract with $6 million in committed funding to develop a respiratory disease antibiotic candidate.
The candidate, TP-271, will be developed and manufactured for use against biothreat agents, including Francisella tularensis, Yersina pestis and Bacillus anthracis, along with bacterial pathogens associated with community acquired bacteria pneumonia, reports.
Tetraphase will work as a subcontractor to CUBRC, a nonprofit organization that conducts testing, research and development and systems integration programs in fields ranging from medical sciences to chemical and biological defense.
The NIAID award to the firm includes $6 million in committed funding over the initial 25 months and options that could bring the value of the contract to close to $36 million. Tetraphase is exploiting its synthetic chemistry platform in an effort to develop tetracycline-based antibiotics that can treat both broad and selective spectrum bacterial infections. Tetraphase claims that unlike limited semisynthetic approaches to the modification of tetracycline, its platform is able to synthetically modify any position on the tetracycline scaffold.
The company's lead candidate, TP-434, is a broad-spectrum antibiotic in Phase I evaluation as an oral step-down product for the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infections, acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections in addition to hospital-acquired or ventilator-associated pneumonia and in Phase II development as an intravenous product.