Research & Development

Procarta’s innovative approach to antimicrobial discovery opens up bacterial transcription as a new therapeutic target. We are developing novel drugs that are active against resistant strains, have a controllable microbiological spectrum and are designed by a rapid and rational process.

Oligonucleotide Transcription Factor Decoys (TFDs) contain binding sites for essential bacterial transcription factors. When delivered into bacterial cells they inhibit these molecules to prevent expression of genes needed for the bacteria to survive and cause infection. Delivery is achieved with Procarta’s proprietary nanoparticles.

These novel antimicrobials are specifically designed to help address the worldwide healthcare crisis of rising antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

TFD Platform

Systems biology analyses of bacterial infection has identified numerous new targets, many of which are undruggable with traditional small molecules. Specifically, gene regulation plays a central role in how bacteria survive within the body and cause virulence. The TFD technology uses short, synthetic oligonucleotides to bind and inhibit the transcription factors controlling gene regulation, leading to rapid death of the bacterial pathogen.

Delivery of TFDs is achieved with a proprietary bola-lipid. These self-assemble to form nanoparticles that bind the TFD with high affinity and are suitable for intravenous delivery and also oral delivery to the gut. They protect the TFD from degradation and are able to selectively translocate oligonucleotides into bacterial cells. This is because the target for the nanoparticles is a highly conserved and essential, prokaryotic-specific lipid.

In comparison to traditional antimicrobials, which have broad spectrum of activity, Procarta’s platform can design agents that are tailor-made to treat species or families specifically, leading to precision medicine antimicrobials.  Procarta’s compounds have the ability to kill both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including life-threatening multi-drug resistant (MDR) pathogens for which there is the greatest unmet medical need in the clinic.

Our Assets and Pipeline

Procarta’s assets – advantages for treating serious, potentially life-threatening infections

Procarta’s new class of antimicrobials are differentiated from current standard-of-care and last line antimicrobials by their chemical class and distinct antibacterial profile.

Pipeline

Procarta is building a pipeline of novel antibacterials with an initial focus on treating diseases caused by Enterobacteriaceae, including difficult to treat strains that are Carbapenemase-resistant (CRE).

The lead asset, PRO-202, is currently entering preclinical development, to treat complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) and complicated intraabdominal infections (cIAI).

Profile of Procarta’s Transcription Factor Decoys (TFDs):

  • Tailor-made to specific pathogens/families enabling precision medicine antimicrobials
  • Potent activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria including the ESKAPE pathogens.
  • Retain activity against serious and potentially life-threatening multiple drug resistant (MDR) pathogens, including those designated as a priority by the WHO. 
  • Rapid bactericidal (killing rather than growth inhibition) activity against Gram-negative bacteria e.g. E coli.
  • Show low propensity for the emergence of resistance.

Therapeutic Indications

Procarta has selected complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) and complicated intraabdominal infections (cIAI) as lead clinical indications. This reflects a number of factors including high unmet medical need, the profile of Procarta’s compounds and the significant commercial opportunity:

  1. The high prevalence of pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria in patients with cUTI/cIAI.
  2. Over one million patients suffer from cUTIs in the USA every year.
  3. The increasing proportion of cUTI patients who have a MDR infection that is not sensitive to standard-of-care antimicrobials thus requiring treatment with last-in-line antimicrobials.
  4. The antibacterial profile of Procarta’s compounds, including activity against MDR pathogens.
  5. The well-defined clinical and regulatory path to approval for new antibiotic treatments for cUTI/cIAI
  6. The opportunity to receive QIDP (Qualified Infectious Disease Product) designation which offers fast-track status & priority review with the FDA, plus potentially 5 years’ additional market exclusivity.

Additional indications will also be explored e.g. and nosocomial pneumonia (HAP and VAP) if the pre-clinical data supports treatment of infection in these body sites.

Intellectual Property

Procarta’s innovative approach to antimicrobial discovery opens up bacterial transcription as a new therapeutic target. We are developing novel drugs that are active against resistant strains, have a controllable microbiological spectrum and are designed by a rapid and rational process.

Oligonucleotide Transcription Factor Decoys (TFDs) contain binding sites for essential bacterial transcription factors. When delivered into bacterial cells they inhibit these molecules to prevent expression of genes needed for the bacteria to survive and cause infection. Delivery is achieved with Procarta’s proprietary nanoparticles.

These novel antimicrobials are specifically designed to help address the worldwide healthcare crisis of rising antimicrobial resistance (AMR).