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NIH funds development of new broad-spectrum therapeutics
Date:10/13/2011

Four companies are to develop broad-spectrum therapeuticsantibiotics, antivirals and an antitoxinto prevent or treat diseases caused by multiple types of bacteria or viruses, under contracts awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Total funding for the four contracts could reach $150 million over a maximum five-year period.

The contracts are designed to support essential research and development activities to enable promising investigational therapies to move toward early-phase clinical studies and, if successful in clinical studies, on to eventual licensure. The ultimate goal is to develop products that the U.S. government can stockpile to protect the public in the event of a bioterror attack or public health crisis.

In line with NIAID's strategic plan for biodefense and emerging infectious diseases research, these contracts move beyond the paradigm of drug development that is sometimes called "one-bug, one-drug." (http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/BiodefenseRelated/Biodefense/Documents/biosp2007.pdf)The contracts are to focus on candidate therapies that can be used against classes of pathogens rather than being agent-specific. Such broad-spectrum therapeutics would improve preparedness for all infectious threats, whether they occur naturally or are deliberately introduced.

The following companies are recipients of the new contracts:

CUBRC Inc., Buffalo, N.Y., in partnership with Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, Watertown, Mass.Researchers will develop a fully synthetic tetracycline product, TP-271, to treat the bacterial disease tularemia, and respiratory infections such as community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. Both intravenous and oral formulations of the drug will be evaluated in preclinical studies for safety and efficacy, and several preliminary
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Contact: Ann Mosher
niaidnews@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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