Lab Canada

Pharma company lands US$4.8M biodefense research contract

Toronto, ON – Affinium Pharmaceuticals says it has executed a two-year, US$4.8 million research contract with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), an agency of the United States Department of Defense (DoD).

The contract will fund preclinical studies of selected compounds from Affinium’s fatty acid biosynthesis inhibitor portfolio that have demonstrated potential as therapeutics for the treatment of diseases caused by serious pathogens including Francisella tularensis, a potential biological warfare and bioterrorism agent. This DTRA contract builds on Affinium’s previous research into the inhibition of Francisella tularensis conducted with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“Our partnership with DTRA and the DoD serves as validation of Affinium’s portfolio of potent oral antibacterial therapeutics,” said Nachum Kaplan, vice president microbiology of Affinium. “We believe that through this contract we will continue to demonstrate the high efficacy and desired pharmacokinetics of this new class of antibiotics.”

Under the contract, Affinium says it will investigate the properties of a select group of its proprietary compounds. Following these initial investigations, Affinium and its partners will conduct microdosing studies to characterize the compounds’ human pharmacokinetic properties and select a lead development candidate to undergo IND-enabling preclinical development as an oral tularemia therapeutic.