Cambridge, MA January 7, 2016 — Spero Therapeutics, LLC, a biopharmaceutical company founded to develop novel therapies for the treatment of bacterial infections, today announced it has entered into a license agreement with Promiliad Biopharma for access to its dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibitors that target Gram-positive and negative bacteria, fungi and protists. The DHFR program, based on the work from the laboratories of Amy Anderson and Dennis Wright at the University of Connecticut, which was recently added to Spero’s growing pipeline, expands a novel antifolate’s antibacterial spectrum to treat trimethoprim resistant isolates including key Gram-negative pathogens.
“Promiliad’s DHFR program is a unique addition to Spero’s growing pipeline of antibacterial candidates and pre-clinical studies with these inhibitors are already demonstrating the immense potential for the DHFR pathway to treat drug-resistant infections,”said Ankit Mahadevia, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Spero. “We are working to rapidly advance this program and are committed to identifying and developing a lead candidate in this program that we can advance to the clinic.”
Under the terms of the agreement Promiliad Biopharma granted Spero a sublicense to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize its DHFR inhibitors in exchange for undisclosed economic considerations and milestone payments. In addition, Spero will collaborate with the University of Connecticut to identify and develop new candidate compounds.
Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is an enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway for intracellular tetrahydrofolic acid, which is essential in the synthesis of purines, some amino acids, and thymidine. Inhibition of DHFR depletes DNA precursors arresting DNA synthesis and cell division, leading to cell death. The prototypical DHFR inhibitor, trimethoprim is widely used in antibacterial therapy, most notably in combination with sulfamethoxazole, and marketed as Bactrim.
Promiliad Biopharma is an innovative drug discovery company that creates novel natural product-like small molecules in combinatorial arrays. Promiliad has developed a proprietary and unique approach to the drug discovery process, a technology called ReBACS (Recombinant Biotechnology Assisted Combinatorial Synthesis). The natural product-based feedstock generated by ReBACS offers a complex and rich structural diversity, simplifies the synthetic challenge in drug discovery and increases the probability of generating new lead compounds. Promiliad facilitates the identification of lead compounds, the preparation of focused libraries and the efficient scale up of lead production. Based on natural product-like compound arrays, Promiliad Biopharma has established internal drug discovery programs that are focused on the development of new antibacterial and antifungal agents.
Spero is a product-focused biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of novel treatments for bacterial infections and is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company’s pipeline of anti-infective agents is one of the most unique in the industry – focused exclusively on high unmet needs in bacterial infections. 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. Spero’s MvfR inhibitor program works differently from existing antibiotics by targeting a pathway involved in two critical bacterial processes: virulence and persistence. 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 www.sperotherapeutics.com.
Spectrum Science Communications:
Maia Arnold, PhD
Senior Scientific Executive