WATERTOWN, Mass., Oct. 13, 2011 - Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage infectious disease biopharmaceutical company, announced today the award of a contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), worth up to $42.7 million over five years. The award will fund the preclinical and clinical development of a new class of bridged bicyclic antibiotics known as Bicyclolides to be used as medical countermeasures against multiple biodefense Category A and B bacteria. Additionally, Enanta has focused on bicyclolides for the treatment of infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) and resistant streptococci.
Enanta has bicyclolides that are active against top priority Gram-positive and Gram-negative biodefense pathogens like anthrax (Bacillus anthracis), plague (Yersinia pestis), tularemia (Francisella tularensis), and glanders (Burkholderia mallei). Due to a unique binding site on the bacterial ribosome, bicyclolides are very effective against resistant pathogens, including both community and hospital-acquired superbugs such as MRSA and VRE.
"Bicyclolide antibiotics discovered by Enanta offer a new broad spectrum approach to treating lethal infections, including those caused by biothreat pathogens," said Jay Luly, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Enanta Pharmaceuticals. "We have new bicyclolides with both oral and IV dosage forms to provide flexible treatment options for the hospital and community setting. This contract will enable us to advance additional bicyclolide candidates into clinical development."
Enanta Pharmaceuticals is a research and development company that uses its novel chemistry approach and drug discovery capabilities to create best in class small molecule drugs in the infectious disease field. Enanta is developing novel protease, NS5A, nucleoside(tide) polymerase, and cyclophilin-based inhibitors targeted against the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Additionally, the Company has created a new class of antibiotics, called Bicyclolides, which overcomes bacterial resistance. Antibacterial focus areas include overcoming resistance to superbugs, treating respiratory tract infections, and developing intravenous and oral treatments for hospital and community MRSA infections and for use as medical countermeasures against biodefense pathogens. Enanta is a privately held company headquartered in Watertown, Mass. Enanta's news releases and other information are available on the company's web site at www.enanta.com.