Procarta Receives CARB-X Award of up to $9.2 Million for Development of New Class of Antibiotics to Combat Life-Threatening Drug-Resistant Pathogens

17 September 2019

Procarta Biosystems, a privately held  biotech company based over two sites, Norwich Research Park and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, today announced a CARB-X award of up to $9.2m to progress its pipeline of antibiotic precision medicines.

The award includes initial non-dilutive funding up to $2.2 million with a further $7.0 million available if certain project milestones are met. The new antibiotics are based on Procarta’s proprietary oligonucleotide-based antimicrobial platform and will target potentially life-threatening infections caused by Gram-negative ESKAPE pathogens.

“This new award from CARB-X recognises the value of the novel modalities in our pipeline and their potential  to precipitate a paradigm shift in antimicrobial treatments, said Dr Andrew Lightfoot, PhD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of Procarta. “We are delighted to have support from CARB-X recognising the importance of developing new antibiotics to combat antimicrobial resistance.”  
 
“This award from CARB-X follows closely on a €1.5m investment from the Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund. Together, these new funds will be used to progress our lead asset, PRO202 and to develop our proprietary drug discovery platform to build a pipeline of antimicrobial agents to cover the ESKAPE pathogens.”  
 
Procarta’s lead asset, PRO-202, is in preclinical development to treat complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) and complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI). The ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) are responsible for a significant proportion of cUTIs and cIAIs throughout the world and represent the greatest risk of antibiotic resistance of all clinical infections.
 
Part of Procarta’s award from CARB-X will come from funds provided by the UK Government’s Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF). GAMRIF is an Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund which allocates support for projects that promote the welfare and economic development of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The PRO-202 project qualifies for the GAMRIF program due to its predicted efficacy against Salmonella, Shigella and Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacterial strains. These bacteria are the leading causes of typhoid and diarrheal disease in the developing world. 

About Procarta Biosystems

Procarta Biosystems is a UK based biotech company that has discovered a new type of antimicrobial that kills bacteria, including multidrug-resistant (MDR) Gram-negative strains, by blocking their gene expression through a novel mechanism. The Company is developing a pipeline of these antibacterial agents discovered using its proprietary Oligonucleotide Antimicrobial Discovery platform. The lead asset, PRO-202, targeting CRE bacteria, is in preclinical development to treat complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) and complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI).  
Infections caused by MDR bacteria are correlated with increased deaths, prolonged stay in hospital and pose a major threat to global public health. Procarta aims to revolutionise the treatment of serious and life-threatening infection through disruptive innovation. Our goal is to radically improve patient well-being and aid in the global fight against AMR. 

The latest funding comes in alongside existing investors UKI2S, Wren Capital, Meltwind, Development Bank Wales and Morningside. 

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About CARB-X  

Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) is a global non-profit partnership dedicated to accelerating early development antibacterial R&D to address the rising threat of drugresistant bacteria. CARB-X is investing up to $500 million from 2016-2021 to support the development of innovative antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines, rapid diagnostics and devices. CARB-X focuses exclusively on high priority drug-resistant bacteria, especially Gram-negatives. CARB-X has built the world’s largest and most innovative pipeline of preclinical products against drug-resistant infections. CARB-X is led by Boston University and funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the US Department of Health and Human Services‘ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Wellcome Trust, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the UK Government’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with in-kind support from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). CARB-X headquarters are located at Boston University School of Law.