Anti-infective drug development company Appili Therapeutics is set to receive funding to support the development of a new antibiotic to treat gram-negative infections.
The additional $400,000 funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Programme (NRC-IRAP) will bring IRAP support for this project to a total of up to $759,000.
Appili will use the funding to develop ATI-1503, an antibiotic targeting, drug-resistant, gram-negative bacteria, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobactor baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
These superbugs cause potentially deadly infections such as pneumonia and blood infections.
ATI-1503 is a naturally occurring, synthetic version of the Negamycin antibiotic.
Appili Therapeutics CFO Kimberly Stephens said: “Doctors are fast running out of treatment options and IRAP funding is an important part of our financial strategy for helping Appili develop a new antibiotic that can treat these deadly diseases.”
Appili’s drug development team will use the funding to employ latest X-ray crystallography to visualise the exact structure of ATI-1503 binding to the bacterial target.
The potency of ATI-1503 against these drug-resistant infections will be systematically optimised with the help of the crystal structure data.
The bacteria with two cellular walls Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobactor baumannii, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa make it hard for antibiotics to penetrate.
ATI-1503 has the ability to treat these superbugs as it penetrates the double exterior membranes and attacks the protein generating machinery of bacteria.
The bacteria are resistant to most antibiotics and thrive in hospitals and residential care facilities, infecting already vulnerable patients.