Cidara Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company developing novel anti-infectives including immunotherapies, announced that it and Rutgers University have been awarded a five-year, $5.5 million partnership grant from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
The grant will fund the continued research and development of Cidara’s innovative Cloudbreak™ antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform to identify novel immunotherapy agents for the treatment and prevention of serious and life-threatening multi-drug resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacterial infections in high-risk patient populations. The Cloudbreak immunotherapy platform is a fundamentally new approach for the treatment of infectious disease that, in a single molecule, pairs potent antimicrobials with agents that redirect the immune system to destroy fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens.
“Treatment options for Gram-negative bacterial infections have become increasingly limited due to the rapid emergence of multi-drug resistance to existing and newly approved antimicrobial agents,” said Jeffrey Stein, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Cidara. “An agent designed to treat and prevent Gram-negative infections in high-risk populations by engaging the immune system would provide an alternative strategy for addressing a critical public health need. We are pleased to collaborate with the NIH and Rutgers to further evaluate potential use of our Cloudbreak ADCs as countermeasures against Gram-negative pathogens.”
The initial preclinical development activities covered by the grant will be conducted at the Public Health Research Institute (PHRI) of New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers University, located in Newark, New Jersey. David S. Perlin, Ph.D., executive director and professor at PHRI, will lead the research phase of the grant and serves as principal investigator.
“Preliminary studies have identified promising ADCs that possess both intrinsic and immune-mediated bactericidal activity against clinically important Gram-negative pathogens including MDR isolates,” said Dr. Perlin. “I believe that a novel ADC agent could be a much-needed and welcome addition to the Gram-negative therapeutic arsenal. I look forward to advancing Cidara’s ADC Cloudbreak program as part of this NIH/NIAID partnership grant.”
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