University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Targets polymyxin-resistant Gram-negative pathogens
Octapeptin cyclic peptides have a unique mechanism of action with activity against polymyxin-resistant Gram-negative pathogens. Last-resort polymyxin class antibiotics, such as colistin, are used to treat drug-resistant infections for which no other antibiotics will work. They can however cause severe kidney and neurological side effects, leaving patients and health care professionals with no safe treatment options for serious life-threatening infections. The University of Queensland’s project aims to identify agents that maintain their antibacterial potency against these pathogens but have fewer side effects. These molecules will be developed for treatment of a wide range of infections including complicated urinary tract and intra-abdominal infections, as well as pneumonia. The Octapeptin program has been expanded to develop a new drug designed for use in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where there are high levels of drug-resistant bacteria. The new therapeutic would act as potentiators and would work by disrupting the protective cell membrane of drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria so that existing antibiotics could once again work to kill the bacteria. The new drug would be used in combination with antibiotics that are readily available in LMICs but that have become ineffective in the treatment of drug-resistant infections.
Current Development Stage: Lead Optimization
CARB-X Investment: Initial investment of up to $3.83m with potential option payments up to $7.03m. Additional funding of $2.2m was announced in February 2021 to support the LMIC research program
Initial CARB-X Investment Date: January 1, 2020