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Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Reports New Macrolide-Related Drug Class, Bicyclolides, to Combat Hospital and Community Acquired Superbug Infections


4/10/2008 7:09:38 AM

WATERTOWN, Mass., April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Enanta Pharmaceuticals, a leader in the development of small molecule anti-infective drugs, today announced the presentation of their breakthrough research program to evaluate a new macrolide-related drug class, Bicyclolides, in the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), and other gram-positive infection pathogens. Enanta's Bicyclolides have also demonstrated strong activity against MRSA strains resistant to vancomycin, Zyvox(R) (linezolid), and CUBICIN(R) (daptomycin).

The oral presentation, "New Bicyclolides Active Against MRSA and VRE," was presented today during the 10th Annual Superbugs and Superdrugs Conference in London, England.

"Previously, MRSA infection was a problem mainly for patients treated in hospitals," said Robert Moellering, M.D., a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "Now we're seeing MRSA in the general community, creating a tremendous need for a new class of antibiotics with improved safety profile and more convenient administration for use within both hospital as well as community settings. The growing problem of bacterial resistance to many existing drugs also necessitates the development of new classes of compounds to fight the battle."

"Pre-clinical research on these new Bicyclolide compounds revealed activity against MRSA and VRE, even against highly drug-resistant MRSA strains. This was an unexpected finding, because traditional macrolides do not work against these bacteria," explained Yat Sun Or, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Enanta. "These results are also very exciting, because we have observed activity as good as intravenously-administered vancomycin or Zyvox(R) with oral once-a-day dosing levels of the Bicyclolides. The convenience of oral administration and the safety profile of macrolides as a class represent patient and pharmacoeconomic benefits that could be potentially quite significant, making this program a worthwhile endeavor."

About Enanta's Bicyclolide research program

Bicyclolides posses a reengineered back-bone structure of traditional macrolides, whose benefits include the potential for oral and intravenous administration and limited side-effects. The discovery of Bicyclolides' effectiveness against MRSA and VRE infections is part of Enanta's broad antibiotic research program. Enanta has applied several research strategies to develop these new classes of antibiotics, including innovative medicinal chemistry approaches to create novel and proprietary chemical structures. Enanta has applied its chemistry approach to create promising product pipelines and a vast intellectual property estate.

About MRSA

More than 130,000 people each year need hospital care for MRSA, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that can live harmlessly on human skin and is found in the nose of 20 to 40 percent of healthy individuals, but can sometimes cause infections when exposed to broken skin. MRSA is a particular type of the bacteria that has developed resistance to many antibiotics, including methicillin, making it difficult to treat. Currently, the antibiotic drugs typically administered to MRSA patients are intravenous. This method is expensive and inconvenient, especially for those who acquired the infection in the community and must seek hospital treatment for lengthy intravenous treatment.

About Enanta

Enanta Pharmaceuticals is a research and development company that uses its novel chemistry approach and drug discovery capabilities to create best in class small molecule drugs in the anti-infective field. At the heart of Enanta is its commitment to innovative chemistry that surpasses traditional medicinal chemistry approaches. Enanta is developing novel protease and polymerase inhibitors targeted against the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Additionally, the Company has created a new class of macrolide antibiotics, called Bicyclolides, which overcome bacterial resistance. Antibacterial focus areas include superbugs, respiratory tract infections, and intravenous and oral treatments for hospital and community MRSA. Enanta is a privately held company with offices in Watertown, MA. More information about the company can be found at www.enanta.com .

Zyvox is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc. and CUBICIN is a registered trademark of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CONTACT: Investor Relations, Paul Mellett of Enanta, +1-617-607-0761; or
Public Relations, Kari Watson of MacDougall Biomedical Communications for
Enanta Pharmaceuticals, +1-781-235-3060, kwatson@macbiocom.com

Web site: http://www.enanta.com/



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