PolyMedix and University of Massachusetts Amherst Receive up to $6.6 Million NIH Grant to Develop New Antibiotics
News Jul 28, 2009
PolyMedix, Inc. and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Department of Polymer Sciences and Engineering, HAVE announced that they have received a NIH grant to support the development of antimicrobial defensin-mimetic compounds for biodefense and emerging food-borne infectious diseases.
The sponsoring agency for the grant is Cooperative Research Partnerships for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease of the National Institutes of Health. The grant provides PolyMedix and the University of Massachusetts $977,658 for one year, of which PolyMedix expects to receive $265,539.
The grant recommends funding for an additional four years, subject to availability of funds and satisfactory performance, which brings the potential value of the grant up to an aggregate of $6.6 million over the five year period. The amount of support expected to be received by PolyMedix is up to $3.5 million over the five year period, and is planned to support three scientific staff.
The primary goal of the grant is to characterize PolyMedix’s antimicrobial defensin mimetic compounds and develop a clinical lead candidate for treating food-borne illnesses with an emphasis on Gram-negative bacteria. The principal investigator at the University of Massachusetts for the grant is Dr. Gregory Tew, Professor at the Department of Polymer Sciences and Engineering, and a scientific founder of PolyMedix.
“This grant will allow us to expand the chemical landscape of antimicrobial peptide mimics with a focus on important food-borne illnesses caused by Gram-negative pathogens. It also represents an outstanding relationship between the University of Massachusetts and PolyMedix,” said Dr. Gregory Tew of the University of Massachusetts.
“We greatly appreciate the continued support of NIH and their recognition of the significance of our novel antibiotic compounds and drug discovery technology,” said Nicholas Landekic, President and C.E.O of PolyMedix. “This award could enable the development of the next generations of novel antibiotics for drug resistant bacteria and emerging infections. This grant represents the tenth outside funding received by PolyMedix and supports work that we would otherwise not be in a position to pursue at this time. We are proud to receive this important grant and to continue our work with the University of Massachusetts and Dr. Gregory Tew.”
PolyMedix’s lead defensin-mimetic antibiotic compound is PMX-30063, currently in Phase I clinical development. On December 10, 2008 PolyMedix announced the results of the first Phase I human clinical study with PMX-30063.
The results of that study suggest that it should be possible to achieve clinically therapeutic levels with daily doses of PMX-30063 which are lower than those associated with any adverse effects seen in the single dose study.