Achaogen to share data from discontinued antibiotic program

Biopharmaceutical company Achaogen announced today that it will share scientific data and other information from a discontinued antibiotic research and development program with other researchers, a move experts hope will aid future antibiotic discovery.

Achaogen, of South San Francisco, Calif., will share the data from its LpxC inhibitor program on the Pew Charitable Trusts’ open-access, cloud-based database SPARK (Shared Platform for Antibiotic Research and Knowledge), launched in late September to spur basic research into new antibiotics for gram-negative bacteria, which are some of the most challenging bacterial pathogens.

Wes Kim, a senior officer with Pew’s antibiotic resistance project, said the data will provide other scientists with valuable information about LpxC inhibitors, which target an enzyme that’s critical for maintaining the tough outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria. LpxC is a target that has eluded many antibiotic discovery efforts, Kim explained, and having data on Achaogen’s experience could give researchers a boost in advancing the science.

“If scientists are recreating the wheel…that’s not an efficient use of resources,” Kim told CIDRAP News. “However, if they can learn from the research that Achaogen has done, I think that’s a great step forward.”

Data remain valuable
The agreement was facilitated by CARB-X (the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator), which awarded Achaogen more than $3 million in July 2017 for development of its LpxC inhibitor program. The company’s lead compound showed potent activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in pre-clinical research, but the program was discontinued in 2017 due to unexpected toxicity findings.

“Sharing our data with SPARK is part of Achaogen’s ongoing commitment to address the antibiotic resistance crisis,” Achaogen CEO Blake Wise said in a Pew press release. “Even though our LpxC program has ended, the data remain valuable, and we hope that our research will help SPARK users contribute to the discovery of novel antibiotics that can treat Gram-negative infections.”

Further reading: CIDRAP

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