HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, November 7, 2017 – Appili Therapeutics Inc. (the “Company” or “Appili”), an anti-infective drug development company, announced today it has been awarded a $1.2 million USD grant by the Department of Defense, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program.
The Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMP) supports military health-related research that has the potential to make a strong impact on patient care. Appili will use the funds to develop a lead compound as a preclinical candidate for its ATI-1503 antibiotic program targeting drug-resistant, Gram-negative bacteria.
“Drug-resistant bacteria threaten a doctor’s ability to care for battlefield wounds among military service men and women,” said Kevin Sullivan, CEO of Appili Therapeutics. “We are honoured to have been selected for this PRMRP award, which helps us advance our most promising antibiotic candidate through the critical early stages of development.”
Drug-resistant bacteria constitute some of the highest threats to human health, with over 2 million infections and at least 23,000 deaths each year in the U.S. alone. These superbugs can present serious challenges in both battlefield situations, as well as in veterans’ hospitals, making it a priority research area for the Department of Defense (DOD).
ATI-1503 is a synthetic version of the naturally-occurring antibiotic called Negamycin. Its broad spectrum activity allows it to tackle the most deadly Gram-negative bacteria, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobactor baumannii, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These are high priority pathogens for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization because of the lack of effective antibiotic treatment options for the most resistant strains.
Appili’s expert drug development team will use the PRMRP funding to optimize the potency of ATI-1503 to effectively target Gram-negative bacteria. Because Gram-negative bacteria have two protective cellular walls, it is hard for existing antibiotics to penetrate. ATI-1503 holds promise for treating these superbugs because it penetrates the double exterior membranes and attacks the protein generating machinery of the Gram-negative bacteria.
About the PRMRP Grant
This work is supported by the DOD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs through the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program under Award No. W81XWH-17-1-0180. In conducting this research, the investigators will adhere to the laws of the United States and regulations of the Department of Agriculture, as well as the CDC-NIH Guide for Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories. For more information, visit http://cdmrp.army.mil.
About Appili Therapeutics
Appili is dedicated to identifying, acquiring and advancing novel therapeutics for infectious disease. The company has two anti-infective programs, ATI-1501 and ATI-1503, in its pipeline. ATI-1501 is a taste-masked treatment for anaerobic infections, including C. difficile. Appili’s second product, ATI-1503, is a novel antibiotic with broad potential to treat drug-resistant Gram-negative infections. For more information visit www.AppiliTherapeutics.com.