CŪRZA AND THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA EXPAND COLLABORATION TO INCLUDE BACTERIAL BIOTHREATS WITH DTRA AWARD
SALT LAKE CITY, April 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Cūrza Global, LLC (Cūrza) announced today that The Institute for Therapeutic Innovation (ITI) at the University of Florida has been awarded a $75M contract from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in partnership with Cūrza. This program is aimed at the development of Cūrza's CZ-02 platform of antibiotics for the treatment of drug-resistant bacterial infections. The CZ-02 platform represents a novel class of antibacterial agents with a unique mode of action.
Antibiotic-resistant superbugs represent a global health crisis. "The COVID-19 virus pandemic has also heightened awareness of the deficiencies in our current arsenal of antibacterial drugs", commented John W. Kozarich, CEO of Cūrza. "We are pleased to expand our collaboration with ITI to advance our platform, not only for treatments of community and hospital-associated pathogens, but also to now include those with significant biothreat potential. If successful, these unique molecules will represent the first new class of antibiotics discovered in the last 60 years with activity against these pathogens."
The contract provides Cūrza with funding to advance novel CZ-02s into clinical development. Chad Testa, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at Cūrza will serve as Principal Investigator (PI) for Cūrza. Henry Heine, Ph.D. of ITI will be the PI for the full contract.
About Cūrza—Cūrza, a University of Utah spinout, is a drug development company focused on developing novel therapeutics to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria. Cūrza's lead program is designed to kill bacteria with known resistance to other ribosomal antibiotics by binding to a clinically un-drugged and highly conserved site on the bacterial ribosome. These new antibiotics' unique mechanism of action allows maximum penetration of bacterial cells leading to potent activity against drug-resistant ESKAPE pathogens. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT with offices in Cambridge, MA, Cūrza is privately held and is backed by several private investors.