Partnership will focus on preclinical development of LpxC inhibitors

Forge Therapeutics is partnering with Evotec for lead optimization of its LpxC inhibitor candidate in development against Gram-negative bacterial infections, including drug-resistant superbugs. San Diego-based startup Forge is exploiting a drug discovery platform that combines molecular modeling and rational drug design with expertise in bioinorganic chemistry to develop small-molecule inhibitors of metalloproteins. The firm maintains that its LpxC inhibitor is the first nonhydroxamate candidate to demonstrate in vivo efficacy in preclinical models of Gram-negative superbug infections.

Evotec will contribute expertise in areas that include microbiology, structural biology, medicinal and computational chemistry, ADME, and PK. “…they provide significant preclinical expertise and added horsepower to rapidly advance our novel antibiotic to address this growing unmet global issue,” stated Zachary A. Zimmerman, Ph.D., CEO of Forge Therapeutics. “Our LpxC inhibitors have proven to be stable, potent in vitro, and have shown preliminary efficacy in vivo.”

In July 2016 Forge received a Phase I SBIR grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to support the LpxC inhibitor program.

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