Armata Pharmaceuticals Announces $15 Million Award from the U.S. Department of Defense
Armata Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on precisely targeted bacteriophage therapeutics for antibiotic-resistant and difficult-to-treat bacterial infections, today announced that it has received a $15 million award for a three year program from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) through the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) with funding from the Defense Health Agency and Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program. Armata will use the award to partially fund a Phase 1b/2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose escalation clinical study of Armata’s therapeutic phage-based candidate, AP-SA02, for the treatment of complicated Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia infections.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that we have achieved our goal of receiving non-dilutive funding to support clinical development of our optimized phage candidate, AP-SA02, as a promising potential treatment for S. aureus bacteremia. We are excited to have exceeded the amount of funding we had originally targeted, which enables us to robustly examine the potential efficacy of our optimized phage candidate,” stated Todd R. Patrick, Chief Executive Officer of Armata Pharmaceuticals. “This funding from the DoD validates the potential of phage-based therapeutics and helps us move AP-SA02 into clinical development while continuing to carefully manage our financial position. Drug-resistant S. aureus bacteremia infections carry mortality rates as high as 40%, reflecting the urgent need for novel and improved treatment options.”
Mr. Patrick added, “This award from the DoD facilitates what will be our second clinical program in our development pipeline, enabling Armata to advance phage therapy in two distinct indications: our lead program, AP-PA02, will explore inhaled phage therapy in cystic fibrosis patients with Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections and is partially funded by the US Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and AP-SA02, which will test intravenous phage therapy in S. aureus bacteremia and is partially funded by the DoD.”
Thomas Dunn, Acting Program Manager Naval Advanced Medical Development, stated “Antibiotic resistance is a global challenge and has become more prevalent in recent years, threatening the lives of both warfighters and civilians. There is an imminent need for alternative therapies to help protect the population. Using Armata’s targeted phage cocktail to treat Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia that are non-responsive to standard of care is a novel method that can potentially greatly reduce the number of these complicated, drug-resistant infections and help span the ever-growing bacteria / antibiotic resistance gap.”
The primary objectives of the Phase 1b/2 bacteremia study will be to evaluate the safety and tolerability of AP-SA02 as an adjunct to best available antibiotic therapy, and to determine the appropriate dose or doses for future clinical trials of efficacy. Because of the impact of COVID-19 on the Company’s development programs, Armata does not believe the clinical trial will initiate prior to mid-2021. The clinical trial of AP-PA02 targeting Pseudomonas aeruginosa is on target to enroll later this year.
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