TAXIS Pharmaceuticals Announces $2.67 Million NIH Grant to Advance Research and Development of Combination Therapy to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Pneumonia

TAXIS Pharmaceuticals’ investigational efflux pump inhibitors have been shown to restore potency of FDA-approved antibiotics in animal studies.

NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J.May 1, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — TAXIS Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage company developing new classes of anti-resistance agents to treat life-threatening, multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial infections, announced today that it has received a $2.67 million grant, to be awarded over three years, from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), one of the institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant will allow TAXIS Pharmaceuticals to complete pre-clinical research on the first of its investigational efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs) – compounds which, when delivered in combination with already-approved antibiotics, are intended to inhibit the bacterial cellular processes that cause antibiotic resistance, enabling the antibiotics to be effective in fighting off the bacteria they target.

Building on the robust animal efficacies data, this NIH grant will be specifically used to complete lead optimization of TAXIS Pharmaceuticals’ investigational EPIs in combination with the antibiotic levofloxacin, which is commonly used to treat deadly Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) and a subset of that condition, ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). HAP is the most common healthcare-associated infection in the United States and can result in high morbidity and mortality rates and substantial healthcare costs.

“This grant is an incredibly important milestone on the path to developing our EPIs and beginning first-in-human clinical trials. By harnessing the synergy between our compounds and existing antibiotics, we aspire to breathe new life into conventional treatments and, ultimately, save lives,” says Gregory Mario, MBA, President and CEO of TAXIS Pharmaceuticals. “The NIH grant is further validation of our science and of the value our EPIs can deliver to communities around the world.”

TAXIS Pharmaceuticals’ investigational EPIs represent a new anti-resistance drug class against Gram-negative MDR pathogens. Bacterial efflux pumps act like bilge pumps, flushing antibiotics out of the bacterial cell, and are responsible for antibiotic resistance in many gram-negative strains. TAXIS Pharmaceuticals’ EPIs have shown in preclinical studies that they can resurrect the effectiveness of multiple classes of antibiotics including macrolides, cephalosporins, tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones. Current data reveal synergy with 28 currently approved and marketed antibiotics that no longer work or now require high doses to have any effect.

The company aims to complete the NIH grant requirements by the end of 2026 and submit an IND application to FDA to begin human trials shortly thereafter.

“While the utility of EPIs has previously been explored in fields such as oncology, no such agents have thus far been FDA approved and very little was done to advance the science targeting prokaryotic infectious conditions,” says Ajit Parhi, PhD, Principal Investigator of the project and Chief Scientific Officer at TAXIS. “We believe our novel approach to pairing EPIs with already-approved antibiotics shows great potential and overcomes previous EPI concerns relating to toxicity. The implications of restoring the potency and efficacy of antibiotics no longer viable in fighting diseases are huge – for patients, society, payers, and manufacturers.”

TAXIS Pharmaceuticals has completed its Series A and Series B funding rounds and is seeking additional funding sources as well as drug manufacturer partnerships and collaborations to continue development and commercialization of its EPI agents and broader portfolio of AMR therapies, to further address the growing global threat of drug-resistant bacteria.

Those interested in exploring collaborative opportunities can contact TAXIS Pharmaceuticals here.

Research mentioned in this press release was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease of the National Institutes of Health Under Award Number R44AII7435I. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the National Institutes of Health.

About TAXIS Pharmaceuticals

TAXIS Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage company developing new classes of anti-resistance agents to treat life-threatening, multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. Our investigational anti-resistance drug candidates aim to enable the re-use of the most widely prescribed generic antibiotics against antibiotic resistant ESKAPE pathogens. Our proprietary, investigational TAXISTANCE® anti-resistance drug platform is focused on the disruption of the foundation of bacterial cell wall architecture to address elemental forms of drug resistance. Our mission is to reduce and potentially eliminate the threat of current and emergent antimicrobial resistance across a wide range of infectious diseases. Discover more at https://www.taxispharma.com/.

Forward-Looking Statements

Investors and stakeholders should be aware that this press release contains forward-looking statements and information. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our or our industry’s actual results, levels or activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those anticipated by such statements. The use of words such as “may”, “might”, “will”, “should”, “could”, “expect”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “project”, “intend”, “future”, “potential” or “continue”, and other similar expressions are intended to identify forward looking statements.

For example, all statements we make regarding (i) the initiation, timing, cost, progress and results of our preclinical and clinical studies and our research and development programs, (ii) our ability to advance product candidates into, and successfully complete, clinical studies, (iii) the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals, (iv) our ability to develop, manufacture and commercialize our product candidates and to improve the manufacturing process, (v) the rate and degree of market acceptance of our product candidates, (vi) the size and growth potential of the markets for our product candidates and our ability to serve those markets, and (vii) our expectations regarding our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our product candidates, are forward looking.

All forward-looking statements are based on current estimates, assumptions and expectations by our management that, although we believe to be reasonable, are inherently uncertain. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those that we expected. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it was made.

We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. This press release is not, and nothing in it should be construed as, an offer, invitation or recommendation in respect of our securities, or an offer, invitation or recommendation to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any of our securities in any jurisdiction. Neither this press release nor anything in it shall form the basis of any contract or commitment. This press release is not intended to be relied upon as advice to investors or potential investors and does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation or needs of any investor.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Ringler, MS
jringler@readhealthy.net
973-647-5004