The National Institutes of Health awards $300,000 to Agile Sciences
February 5, 2013 (Newswire.com) - Agile Sciences has been awarded a $300,000 Phase I STTR Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to evaluate the company's novel technology for enhancing the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating infective endocarditis (IE), an infection of the heart. The NIH grant will fund a collaborative effort between Agile Sciences and Dr. Yan Xiong, Associate Research Professor at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
IE is among the most serious hospital-acquired infections, with a fatality rate of approximately 40%. The causative agent most commonly associated with complicated cases of IE is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is recalcitrant to therapy due to multiple protective mechanisms, including biofilm formation and expression of drug resistance enzymes. Given the poor prognosis of patients with IE and the high degree of treatment failure, there is a need for the development of better therapies to enhance clinical outcomes for this disease.
Agile Sciences is developing small molecules that are able to inhibit bacterial protective mechanisms, thereby enhancing the susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics. The company is developing these proprietary molecules to treat infections caused by multidrug resistant organisms for which there are currently limited or no treatment options available.
Principle Investigator Dr. Angela Pollard noted, "Agile Sciences' compounds have been shown to break up biofilms and enhance the activity of many antibiotics toward MRSA. We look forward to further developing these compounds as a treatment for IE in conjunction with Dr. Xiong, a leader in endocarditis research."
Dr. Yan Xiong stated, "I am very excited that the STTR Phase I proposal was awarded by the NIH. This grant will aid Agile Sciences in developing new antimicrobial compounds for the treatment of life-threatening endovascular infections caused by MRSA. I look forward to collaborating with Dr. Pollard to investigate the new antimicrobial agents with anti-biofilm and antibiotic enhancement properties for their potential efficacy in an experimental MRSA endocarditis model."
Dr. Eva Garland, Agile Sciences' VP of Research and Development, commented "We are grateful for this grant award that will aid in the development of our technology as a therapy for infectious diseases. The ability of Agile Sciences' compounds to enhance the performance of antibiotics has the potential to greatly improve patient outcomes for bacterial infections, such as IE, that do not respond well to current therapeutic options."
About Agile Sciences:
Agile Sciences is headquartered on North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus. The company was founded in 2007 to provide commercial solutions to those industries plagued by the effects of biofilms. The company's proprietary compounds have been shown to be effective in overcoming bacterial resistance mechanisms. For additional information, please visit: http://www.agilesci.com.