Firm will work with CUBRC to develop TP-271 for treating organisms that cause plague and anthrax, as well as community acquired bacterial pneumonia.

Antibiotics firm Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals was awarded a potentially $36 million NIAID contract for the development of its respiratory disease antibiotic candidiate, TP-271. The firm will be working as a subcontractor to CUBRC, a nonprofit organization that conducts R&D, testing, and systems integration programs in fields including medical sciences as well as chemical and biological defense.

The NIAID award to Tetraphase includes $6 million in committed funding over an initial 25 months and options that could bring the total value of the contract to nearly $36 million. The funding will support further development and manufacturing of TP-271 for use against biothreat agents including Francisella tularensis (which causes tularaemia), Yersinia pestis (bubonic plague), and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) along with bacterial pathogens associated with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP).

Tetraphase is exploiting its synthetic chemistry platform to develop tetracycline-based antibiotics for the treatment of both broad and selective spectrum bacterial infections. The firm claims that in contrast with limited semisynthetic approaches to tetracycline modification that involve fermentation in bacteria, its platform is capable of synthetically modifying any position on the tetracycline scaffold.

Lead candidate, TP-434, is a broad-spectrum antibiotic in Phase II development as an intravenous product and in Phase I evaluation as an oral step-down product both for the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infections, acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections, as well as hospital-acquired or ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Candidates at the preclinical or IND-enabling stage include TP-2758, a broad-sepctrum oral/IV antibiotic for the treatment of multidrug-resistant Gram negative complicated urinary tract infections, and TP-834, an IV/oral monotherapy for the treatment of CABP infections including those caused by MRSA and atypical infections. 

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