Send to printer »

GEN News Highlights : Jul 27, 2009

PolyMedix and UMass Amherst Receive Five-Year NIH Biodefense Grant

Organizations will initially obtain $1 million, and remaining $5.5 million is based on milestones and financial conditions.

PolyMedix and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, department of polymer sciences and engineering, received an NIH grant to support the development of antimicrobial defensin-mimetic compounds for biodefense and emerging food-borne infectious diseases. The grant provides PolyMedix and the University of Massachusetts with $977,658 for one year, of which PolyMedix expects to receive $265,539. 

The grant also recommends funding for an additional four years, subject to availability of funds and satisfactory performance. Hence total potential funding could reach $6.6 million. PolyMedix expects to obtain up to $3.5 million over the five-year period. 

The primary goal of the grant is to characterize PolyMedix’ antimicrobial defensin-mimetic compounds and develop a lead candidate for treating food-borne illnesses with an emphasis on gram-negative bacteria. The principal investigator at the University of Massachusetts for the grant is Gregory Tew, Ph.D., professor at the department of polymer sciences and engineering and a scientific founder of PolyMedix. 

“This grant represents the tenth outside funding received by PolyMedix and supports work that we would otherwise not be in a position to pursue at this time,” notes Nicholas Landekic, president and CEO of PolyMedix. The sponsoring agency for the grant is the Cooperative Research Partnerships for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease of the NIH.

PolyMedix’ lead defensin-mimetic antibiotic compound is PMX-30063, which is currently in Phase I development. It will initially be tested as a treatment for pan-staphylococcal infections including MRSA.