Achaogen announces $24.7 million DTRA deal to combat anthrax and plague

Published 27 October 2006

Four-year deal with Defense Threat Reduction Agency will focus on inhibiting antibiotic-resistant strains; once weakened, bacteria are vulnerable to fluoroquinolones and other antibacterial drugs; deal comes in the wake of a succesfully completed Series B funding round

South San Francisco-based Achaogen, a leader in the discovery and development of small molecules to treat infections caused by antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, has received a $24.7 million, four-year contract with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to develop therapies for anthrax and plague. The idea is to use the company’s “achaogens” — the broad-spectrum small molecule therapeutics — to inhibit the anthrax and plague so that they can be more effectively targeted with existing fluoroquinolones and other classes of antibacterial drugs.

“The DTRA contract provides funding for our preclinical development efforts into the biodefense arena, while preserving and enhancing our opportunity in the civilian market for the treatment of resistant bacteria,” said John Hollway, Achaogen’s vice president of business development. “Developing therapies in parallel for both biodefense and hospital-acquired resistant infections will move both programs forward more efficiently and cost-effectively.”

Earlier this month, the company announced that it has closed its Series B round of financing, raising over $26 million dollars in a round led by Domain Venture Partners. All of Achaogen’s Series A investors (5AM Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Venrock Associates, and Versant Ventures) also participated.

-read more in this company PDF news release; company Web site