World-renowned antibiotic experts form Key Opinion Team to advise Forge
San Diego, Calif., July 26, 2016 – Forge Therapeutics, Inc. today announced its 1st funding award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support the advancement of its lead program targeting LpxC for treating drug resistant Gram-negative ‘superbugs.’ The non-dilutive funding is a Phase I Small Business Innovation Grant (SBIR) awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the project “Novel Small Molecule Inhibitors of LpxC for Multi-Drug Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria.”
“The Federal government has a track record of supporting antibiotic discovery programs and we are pleased to receive our 1st award of non-dilutive funding to advance our ground breaking LpxC program. In addition, we have assembled an advisory team of antibiotic experts having over 130 years of experience and responsible for the development of three innovative antibiotics,” said Zachary A. Zimmerman, Ph.D., CEO of Forge Therapeutics. “With Federal support and experienced antibiotic advisors on-board, we are well positioned to execute our strategy to develop a desperately needed antibiotic that is effective against Gram-negative superbugs.”
“It has been over 50 years since the last FDA approval of a novel class of antibiotics targeting Gram-negative bacteria,” said Karen Joy Shaw, Ph.D. “Forge’s innovative chemistry approach has demonstrated rapid progress resulting in novel compounds with significant potency against Gram-negative bacteria.”
Forge Therapeutics Antibiotic Key Opinion Team:
- Karen Joy Shaw, Ph.D., Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, former Senior Vice President of Biology at Trius Therapeutics, former Team Leader Infectious Disease Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, former Research Fellow at Schering-Plough, and member of the development team for the antibiotic tedizolid phosphate (SIVEXTRO).
- Michael Barbachyn, Ph.D., Professor, Brummel Chair in Organic Chemistry, Calvin College, former Director Infection Discovery Astra Zeneca, former Director Antibacterial Chemistry Pfizer, and co-inventor of the antibiotic linezolid (ZYVOX).
- Lynn Silver, Ph.D. former Senior Investigator at Merck, discovered first inhibitors of LpxC, and member of the development team for the antibiotic ertapenem (INVANZ).
- Robert Bonomo, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Case Western Research University; Chief, Medical Service, Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, and expert on Gram-negative ‘superbugs.’
LpxC is conserved across Gram-negative bacteria and not found in Gram-positive bacteria or human cells. Other LpxC inhibitors have been evaluated by biopharma in the past but chemistry limitations (e.g. hydroxamic acid) have yielded ineffective compounds that suffer from poor drug-like properties. Thus, there are no approved therapeutics targeting LpxC. Forge, using its innovative chemistry platform, has developed novel non-hydroxamate inhibitors of LpxC that are safe and effective in an animal model of Gram-negative infection and are able to kill Gram-negative superbugs where other antibiotics are ineffective.
About Forge Therapeutics, Inc.
Forge Therapeutics, Inc. (“Forge”) is a biotechnology start-up that leverages its novel chemistry platform to develop small molecule inhibitors to target metalloproteins. Metalloproteins are proteins that require metal ions for their biological function and make up over 1/3 of the proteins in the human body. Forge uses a proprietary approach comprised of molecular modeling for rational drug design along with fundamental knowledge and expertise in bioinorganic chemistry to target metalloproteins. The name Forge Therapeutics comes from two definitions for forge: to manipulate (inhibit) a metal object (metalloprotein) and to move forward steadily with a purpose (the Forge team). Forge Therapeutics, Inc., maintains its headquarters in San Diego, California. To learn more please visit www.ForgeTherapeutics.com.