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Press Release 07-01-2016


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah—July 1, 2016—Cūrza, a privately-held small-molecule drug development company, has been awarded an R01 grant of up to $4,339,044 entitled “Broad spectrum antibacterials selectively targeting an un-drugged site on the ribosome”. This grant award from NIAID will provide five years of support.

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs represent a global health crisis, with Gram-negative infections recognized as one of the most serious threats. This R01 grant award will help support research and development toward a new class of broad-spectrum antibiotics, with a primary focus on Gram-negative bacteria. With increasing resistance to frontline therapies, there is a critical need for developing new antibiotics. Despite this necessity, very few new therapies exist in the development pipeline of the pharmaceutical industry. Cūrza’s efforts will therefore address a critical unmet medical need.

Cūrza’s discovery and development efforts combine structure-based drug design, medicinal chemistry and biological characterization to contribute to advancing therapeutic candidates that are potent antimicrobials with high selectivity for bacterial ribosomes as compared to human and other mammalian targets. Cūrza CEO Ryan Davies said, “We are honored by this grant award to help fund advancement of our broad-spectrum antibiotic program. The lack of development agents addressing Gram-negative antibiotic resistant infections pose a significant threat to global healthcare and Cūrza is committed to developing novel therapeutics to combat this problem”.

This five-year project will advance Cūrza’s new first-in-class antibiotics through pre-clinical development culminating in IND preparation to initiate a Phase I clinical trial. Funds from this grant will be used to optimize our lead series using structural biology, rigorous biological and biochemical characterization to ensure safety in humans. Dr. Chad Testa will serve as Principal Investigator.

About Curza—Cūrza is a Utah-based drug development company focused on developing novel therapeutics to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria. With original technology licensed from the University of Utah, Cūrza is in the early stages of developing two novel classes of antibiotics. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT with offices in Cambridge, MA, Cūrza is privately held and is backed by Clarke Capital Partners and other private investors. Visit for more information.


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