Lytica secures CARB-X funding to develop antibacterial peptides

Lytica Therapeutics, an early-stage biotech based in Cambridge, Mass, has secured up to $5.3 million from accelerator CARB-X to develop antibacterial peptides with broad activity against multidrug-resistant bacteria.

The company could receive up to $11.6 million in additional funding if the project achieves certain development milestones, for a potential total of $16.9 million.

“There is an urgent need for innovative therapeutics and approaches to drug-resistant infections that, today, are killing some 700,000 people around the world each year,” said

“The Lytica project is in the early phases of development, but if successful and ultimately approved for use in patients, it could represent tremendous improvement in the treatment of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens,” said Erin Duffy, Chief of Research and Development of CARB-X, which is based at Boston University School of Law.

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a natural family of peptides with therapeutic potential in the fight against multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. Their clinical use is currently limited mostly to topical applications, due to issues related to toxicity, stability, and efficacy. Lytica’s proprietary stapling technology aims to overcome these hurdles.

The company has produced lead compounds, called Stapled Antimicrobial Peptides (StAMPs), which display potent activity against multidrug-resistant bacteria, stability against enzymatic degradation, and wide therapeutic potential.

If successful, the project could produce treatments for a wide range of serious infections including lung, urinary tract, and intra-abdominal infections, and be administered in several different modes of delivery including IV infusion and inhalation.

The project is currently in the hit-to-lead phase of development.

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