Novel mycobacterial translocase I inhibitors - a new class of anti-TB drugs

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2R44AI066442-02
Agency Tracking Number: AI066442
Amount: $2,332,320.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2007-2
Small Business Information
DUNS: 125129606
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (301) 762-7776
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Physicians treating tuberculosis (TB) today are in desperate need of new, efficient, and effective antibiotics to improve both time of treatment and durability of cure in multi-drug resistant (MDR) as well as uncomplica ted TB. In the completed Phase 1 grant (Final Report below), we evaluated an exciting new drug candidate, SQ641. SQ641 has activity superior to Isoniazid (INH) and all other TB drugs and, under appropriate conditions, rapidly reduces Mycobacteria in our tw o best TB disease models; macrophages and mice. We briefly describe the drug properties, including its exceptional bactericidal activity, its target and mechanism of action (Translocase I), and our efforts to date to develop an oral formulation. In this Ph ase 2 proposal, we outline the next steps to identify a commercially viable oral formulation(s) of SQ641 for oral treatment regimens, and a parenteral formulation(s) which would have the potential to create a new treatment paradigm; a single, parenteral do se administered at the time of diagnosis. Compared to the current standard of care for TB, both formulations, and associated treatment regimens would dramatically and quickly reduce bacteria in tissues and drastically shorten and improve TB treatment time. INH is used for the first 2 mo of intensive chemotherapy as a cornerstone drug of TB therapy because of its ability to quickly kill rapidly replicating Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in infected tissues and reduce the number of infectious bacteria in pu lmonary secretions. As evidenced by Early Bactericidal Activity (EBA) clinical studies, INH is clearly the most potent of all currently available TB drugs. Interestingly, compared to SQ641, INH is a relatively slow-acting drug in vitro that requires severa l days to kill MTB, and has a post antibiotic effect (PAE) of only 17 hr. Based on a relatively short half- life, the drug is administered daily. Despite daily administration, recent studies demonstrate that the number of viable bacteria remains sufficient to promote physiologic (Siddiqi et al. 2007) and genotypic drug-resistant bacteria. After 48 hr of exposure to INH, ~10% of MTB are killed, but still morphologically intact. In contrast, SQ641 kills 90% of MTB in this timeframe and the bacteria are lysed (liquid cultures are clear). Moreover, SQ641 has a PAE of 55 hr, 3 times the INH PAE. The best way to prevent drug resistance is to act quickly, before bacteria have a chance to adjust to the presence of the drug. SQ641 is highly effective in preventing de velopment of drug resistant mutants in vitro and has marked synergistic activity in vitro with several antituberculars: Ethambutol (EMB), streptomycin, and the new Sequella drug, SQ109. SQ641 has excellent in vitro activity against drug susceptible and MDR MTB, M. kansasii, M. abscessus, and M. avium, and could also be developed for nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) diseases. In spite of the remarkable antibiotic properties of SQ641 against Mycobacteria, a practical method to deliver this drug remains a ch allenge. We discovered that SQ641 activates the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) drug efflux pump in macrophages, and therefore does not accumulate to bactericidal concentrations inside these important cells that harbor MTB in infected mammals. As expected, P-gp effl ux inhibitors markedly enhanced the activity of SQ641 against intracellular MTB; SQ641 was equivalent to or better than INH (the most potent single drug in this test system). In mice, orally administered SQ641 is poorly absorbed. For numerous reasons (pati ent acceptability, convenience, and cost), oral delivery is the preferred method to administer TB therapy. Poor bioavailability combined with rapid efflux from macrophages meant thinking creatively about drug delivery. Fortunately, we solved both efflux an d insolubility problems by combining SQ641 with TPGS, a vitamin E analogue routinely used to improve drug solubility and hence bioavailability (EASTMAN and

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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