MerLion and Dstl win DTRA Grant
MerLion Pharmaceuticals and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have been awardded a grant by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Chemical and Biological Defense Program to support further development of MerLion’s novel atypical fluoroquinolone antibiotic finafloxacin against biological threat agents. The amount awarded has not been disclosed.
The multiyear project will investigate finafloxacin as a potential treatment for Burkholderia pseudomallei, other biothreat agents including Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis, and additional multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens. MerLion and Dstl will initially aim to win FDA agreement on the next steps for developing the antibiotic candidate.
“We already have compelling preclinical results generated in the collaboration with our partners from Dstl for finafloxacin’s activity against various biothreat pathogens, as well as data from our positive clinical studies treating patients with cUTI infections,” said David Dally, CEO of MerLion. “The new project will enable us to investigate the activity of finafloxacin against a variety of very difficult-to-treat pathogens in more detail and will help to position finafloxacin as an effective therapy against multiple bioterrorism threats, as well as a treatment for other life-threatening infections.”