Biotech startup Vedanta Biosciences receives $5.8M grant to accelerate development of therapies for multi-drug resistant infections
Vedanta Biosciences, a biotech startup developing a class of drugs that work by modulating the human microbiome, today announced it has been awarded a second research grant from CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator), a global non-profit partnership dedicated to accelerating early development in antibacterial R&D to address the rising global threat of drug-resistant bacteria, of $5.8 million. In addition to the initial grant, Vedanta Biosciences is eligible for $3.5 million in further funding upon completion of specific milestones.
The funding will be directed towards the development of VE707, Vedanta’s preclinical human microbiome-derived discovery program designed to restore a healthy microbiota as well as prevent infection and colonization recurrence of several multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO) that are responsible for hundreds of thousands of infections in high-risk patients in the United States and Europe each year.
Founded in 2010 by Alexander Rudensky, Dan Littman, David Steinberg, and Ruslan Medzhitov, Vedanta Biosciences is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical startup developing a new category of therapies for immune-mediated diseases based on defined bacterial consortia.
“The addition of Vedanta’s VE707 program to the CARB-X portfolio expands the rich diversity of our pipeline and reflects a novel approach against drug-resistant infections,” said Kevin Outterson, executive director of CARB-X. “Innovations such as VE707, if successful and approved for use in patients, could offer physicians broader treatment options that would strengthen a patient’s ability to fight serious infections and limit the spread of drug-resistant bacteria.”
VE707 is designed to prevent MDRO infections that can result in life-threatening treatment delays and death. These infections result in approximately $2 billion of additional healthcare costs relating to patient isolation practices alone.
“We are very pleased to partner with CARB-X for a second time and look forward to working with the CARB-X team to develop an alternative to antibiotics to help address the burden of MDRO infections,” said Bernat Olle, PhD, chief executive officer of Vedanta Biosciences. “If we could get rid of intestinal carriage of these MDROs in high-risk patients, we could not only prevent infections, but also curb the transmission of these organisms and enable physicians to avoid using antibiotics that select for ever-more resistant bacterial strains.”
Vedanta Biosciences received its first grant from CARB-X for $5.4 million in 2017 to support clinical testing of Vedanta’s oral product candidate, VE303, for the potential treatment of recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (rCDI).