Malvern, PA, July 27, 2020 – Venatorx Pharmaceuticals announced today that it has been awarded a contract by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to advance a novel series of Penicillin Binding Protein (PBP) Inhibitors targeting multi-drug resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii through Phase 1 clinical testing.

Under Contract No. 75N93020C00016, the total estimated cost of the base period for this contract is approximately $3.2 million. Venatorx has the potential to receive funding of up to $44.2 million, if all project milestones are met.

A. baumannii is ranked as a “Priority 1: Critical” carbapenem resistant pathogen on the World Health Organization’s list of bacteria for which new antibiotics are urgently needed. A. baumannii is primarily associated with hospital-acquired infections and has become resistant to a large number of antibiotics, including carbapenems and third generation cephalosporins – the best-known available antibiotics for treating MDR bacteria. Venatorx is developing a novel class of non-beta-lactam molecules that kill bacteria by the same selective mechanism as beta-lactams — blocking cell wall synthesis via binding to the bacterial PBPs. Chemically distinct from the beta-lactams, these new molecules have been designed to be impervious to degradation by beta-lactamases.

“We would like to thank NIAID for their steadfast support and guidance as we continue to work every day to achieve our mission of bringing lifesaving anti-infective medicines to patients around the globe,” said Christopher J. Burns, Ph.D., President and CEO of Venatorx. “By circumventing over 70 years of beta-lactamase-driven resistance, this new class of PBP Inhibitors has the potential to usher in a new wave of antibacterial therapeutics and set the clock back on antibacterial resistance. We look forward to partnering with NIAID to advance this series through Phase 1.”

About Venatorx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Venatorx is a private pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel anti-infectives to treat multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections and hard-to-treat viral infections. Venatorx’s clinical and preclinical antibacterial and antiviral programs have been supported by funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Wellcome Trust; the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS); the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA); CARB-X; the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP); as well as private equity investment from Versant Ventures, Abingworth and Foresite Capital. For more information, please visit