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Oct 25, 2006

Achaogen Awarded $24.7M for Anthrax and Plague

  • Achaogen executed a four-year contract with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) worth up to $24.7 million dollars for the development of therapies to treat anthrax and other biothreat agents.

    Under the terms of the agreement, the first year of which is fully funded, DTRA will fund the discovery of achaogens, broad-spectrum small molecule therapeutics that inhibit bacterial targets, to treat resistant strains of biothreat agents, such as B. anthracis (anthrax) or Y. pestis (plague), to make them susceptible to existing fluoroquinolones and potentially to other classes of antibacterial drugs.

    "We will build upon our successful proof of concept with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in which we showed that achaogens can sensitize resistant strains of anthrax, making them susceptible to existing fluoroquinolones, while inhibiting the emergence of new types of resistance,” says J. Kevin Judice, CSO.

    “Developing therapies in parallel for both biodefense and hospital-acquired resistant infections will move both programs forward more efficiently and cost-effectively," adds John Hollway, vp of business development.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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