Infections that are resistant to antibiotics are a leading cause of death. The Centers for Disease Control reports that each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. More than 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. The emergence of “superbugs” – bacteria resistant to all currently available antibiotics – are pushing us toward a “post-antibiotic era” where common infections would be untreatable. A4-antimicrobial peptides (A4-AMPs) are a new class of peptide-based antibiotic that kills more than 90 percent of antibiotic-resistant species of bacteria. Unlike antibiotics in current use, or in clinical development, A4 has a novel mechanism-of-action that does not confer resistance easily. A4 is a potential life-saving discovery that could be a pivotal new weapon in the on-going battle with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Technology Description

A4 is an antimicrobial peptide-based antibiotic that targets drug-resistant bacteria. In both in vitro and in vivo preclinical testing, A4 has shown broad-spectrum bactericidal activity against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. It is expected that A4 will also be effective against enveloped viruses. A4 has the potential to become the next generation of potent antimicrobial agents to combat common, but dangerous ¬— especially multiple drug resistant —infections.

Advantages

  • First new class of antibiotics in over the last 30 years
  • Novel mechanism of action is expected to still possess strong efficacy against infections
  • A4-AMPs is in a fast-developing peptide-based antibiotic market that currently has limited competitors

Applications

  • Sepsis
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Endocarditis
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Skin infections
  • Other MDR conditions

IP Status

PCT patent application filed

Stage of Development

Screening experiments in vitro have validated the excellent safety profile, low propensity for drug resistance, and strong antimicrobial activity of A4-AMPs against various superbugs. A selected lead compound of A4-AMPs was also successfully tested in vivo using mice, fully validating its safety and efficacy. Given the strategic need for new antimicrobials, clinical trials would likely be FDA fast-tracked when the IND is filed, and breakthrough status would be conferred upon a successful Phase 2 clinical trial.

Featured Innovators

Y. Peter Di, PhD
Berthony Deslouches, MD, PhD