Achaogen wins $64M biodefense contract

2009 Fierce 15 company Achaogen has won a $64 million Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority contract covering the development, manufacturing and regulatory activities to support the company's lead antibiotic ACHN-490. BARDA is supporting the drug's development for biological threats, including Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, and Francisella tularensis, which causes tularemia. In Phase I trials, ACHN-490 has shown positive safety and dosing profile and is now headed for Phase II testing. The drug is also being explored as a treatment for multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria and MRSA.

"We are pleased to be the first awardee from BARDA's broad-spectrum antimicrobial initiative," says Achaogen CEO Kevin Judice. "BARDA serves a critical leadership role in the global effort to combat bacterial biothreats and multi-drug resistance at a time when commercial investment is insufficient to meet the challenges we are facing. We look forward to working with BARDA and contributing to global efforts to combat bacterial biothreats and bacterial resistance as we continue the development of ACHN-490."

Earlier this year, Achaogen raised $56 million in a series C round of financing. The company has garnered significant attention by using new chemistry to revive an old class of antibiotics called aminoglycosides.

- see Achaogen's release