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Lipoprotein synthesis inhibitors for multi-drug resistant Gram-negative therapy

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41AI118037-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41AI118037
Amount: $576,805.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIAID
Solicitation Number: PA14-072
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-02-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-01-31
Small Business Information
Worcester, MA 01605-4307
United States
DUNS: 158864715
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (617) 954-9660
Business Contact
Phone: (508) 757-2800
Research Institution
BOSTON, MA 02115-6110
United States

 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant The increasing prevalence of drug resistant bacterial infections highlights the critical medical need for new agents that are not susceptible to existing
resistance mechanisms Few new agents are in development for Gram negative bacteria which take up small molecules sparingly and efflux most compounds that reach the periplasm A particularly problematic group are the multi drug resistant MDR Gram negatives including Acinetobacter baumannii Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae Treatment of infections by these pathogens is complicated by acquired and intrinsic multi drug resistances The overall goal of this proposal is to address this critical medical need by discovering novel classes of antibacterials that are not subject to existing resistance mechanisms and developing them into new therapeutic or adjunctive agents for the treatment of MDR Gram negative infections The strategy is to focus on an unexploited essential function lipoprotein biosynthesis which is conserved in Gram negative bacteria and without homologs mammals Following translocation across the inner membrane lipoprotein precursors are acylated by lipoprotein diacylglycerol transferase Lgt their signal peptides cleaved off by lipoprotein signal peptidase
LspA and further triacylated by lipoprotein N acyl transferase Lnt All three enzymes are essential for viability in Gram negative pathogens and their activity is localized to the periplasmic side of the inner membrane indicating that inhibitors will not need to cross the inner
membrane Due to the challenges of developing high throughput biochemical screens for these targets and the need for identifying compounds that penetrate bacterial cells target biased whole cell screens were built in A baumannii for both LspA and Lgt inhibitors These consist of A baumannii strains carrying Ptac regulated copies of lgt and lspA in place of the chromosomal copies Both strains cease growth and lose viability as well as cell integrity when IPTG is removed High throughput screens were optimized based on the hypersensitivity of these strains to Lgt and LspA inhibitors in low concentrations of inducer Both assays were validated in pilot screens against known bioactive compounds in duplicate yielding Zandapos factors andgt and hit rates of Moderate throughput cell based and biochemical secondary assays of the Lgt and LspA enzymatic activities were built to validate the target specificity of hits In Phae I the Lgt and LspA HTS assays will be applied to andgt compounds and hits will be confirmed and validated in secondary assays Validated inhibitors will be prioritized by structure and purity dose dependent potency cytotoxicity synergy with existing antibacterials due to cell integrity effects and bacterial spectrum including clinical isolates of P aeruginosa A baumanni and carbapenem resistant K pneumoniae The most potent and selective hits will be prioritized by ADME properties mechanism of action and SAR responsiveness to generate lead compounds In Phase II we will chemically optimize key scaffolds and evaluate their PK toxicity and efficacy in animal infection models to generate preclinical candidates PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE This research is aimed at discovering new drugs that are effective for treating multi drug resistant Gram negative bacterial infections The approach is based on novel cellular assays for inhibitors of two essential bacterial enzymes that have not been exploited previously for new antibiotic discovery The search for new inhibitors of previously unexamined enzymes is likely to provide new chemical structures that are not subject to existing resistance mechanisms and these may be developed into antibiotics for improving therapy of resistant bacteria

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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