The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) this week issued a funding opportunity to support basic to translational research focused on development of novel therapeutics against select antibiotic-resistant gram-negative bacteria or influenza.
Rising resistance to anti-infective agents in healthcare and community settings is an increasing contributor to morbidity, mortality and rising healthcare costs. In addition to antimicrobial stewardship, vaccinations and hospital/community hygiene measures, there is a critical need for the development of novel therapeutic approaches to treat antimicrobial-resistant infections.
The current initiative seeks to stimulate innovation in the discovery and early development of novel therapies to meet these needs. Research areas to be supported include novel approaches or strategies targeting Gram-negative bacterial pathogens such as:
- Targeting virulence
- Host-directed therapeutics, including immunomodulators
- Bacteriophage-based therapies
- Biologics, such as monoclonal antibodies and peptides
- Bacterial transport mechanisms to facilitate uptake or prevent efflux of antibacterials
- Novel strategies to protect antibacterials from bacterial inactivation
- Development of biofilm inhibitors/disruptors
- Agents directed towards novel and or unexploited targets
- Novel classes of agents against validated targets
This initiative also supports discovery efforts or early-stage development of novel therapies for the treatment of infections caused by subtypes of influenza A. Projects must focus on development of new drug targets and/or small molecule therapeutic interventions with broad antiviral activity against multiple influenza A subtypes, including drug-resistant strains. Research areas to be supported include, but are not limited to:
- Identification and validation of new viral or host targets for drug discovery
- Development of small molecule-based interventions directed at viral or host targets
- Development of host-directed compounds that modulate the immune response
- Development of candidates with a novel mechanism of action (other than M2 channel and neuraminidase inhibition)
- Molecular modeling, library screening, and medicinal chemistry/structural activity relationship analysis to optimize candidate compounds for oral bioavailability
- Preclinical characterization of candidate therapeutics, including toxicity and efficacy
- Performing reiterative design, chemical synthesis and in vitro analysis to develop a “mature” lead compound
- Synthesis of sufficient quantities of a lead compound(s) for preclinical characterization.
Projects focused on the development of novel drug candidate inhibitors of validated viral M2 channel or neuraminidase activities with substantially enhanced potency over licensed antivirals, oral bioavailability, and broad antiviral activity against multiple influenza A subtypes, including drug-resistant strains, will be supported under this funding effort.
Further details are available under RFA-AI-14-026. Letters of intent are due by September 19, 2014.