C3J Therapeutics Bolsters Antimicrobial R&D Program; Acquires Engineered Bacteriophage Assets from Synthetic Genomics

Published: Feb 28, 2018

LOS ANGELES & LA JOLLA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- C3J Therapeutics, Inc.) (C3J) a private biotechnology company focused on the development of novel targeted antimicrobials, and Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI) a leader in designing and programming biology for desired function, announced today an agreement between the two companies to integrate SGI’s proprietary engineered bacteriophage (or phage) platform with C3J’s R&D programs addressing high unmet medical needs linked to infectious diseases.

“For C3J, this is a transformational acquisition. By integrating SGI’s novel engineered phage platform into our specifically targeted antimicrobial peptide (STAMP) platform, we can speed the development of our clinical targeted antimicrobials to create new drugs for combatting antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” said Todd Patrick, president and chief executive officer of C3J.

Clinical data for natural phage demonstrates the potential of phage therapy to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. Engineered phage can solve inherent limitations of natural phage such as narrow host range and resistance development. The combination of SGI’s and C3J’s phage and antimicrobial programs will enable new product development opportunities, such as engineering bacteriophage to deliver a peptide payload to enhance the antimicrobial impact.

As part of the agreement, C3J will acquire a corporate partnership with a U.S.-based multinational pharmaceutical company for an undisclosed indication and an unpartnered program targeting Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which C3J plans to advance to the clinic. In addition to cash payments for the deal, SGI will receive common shares of C3J when certain milestones have been achieved.

“We are very proud of the progress we’ve made with the phage program and are excited about the potential of this strategic transaction with C3J,” said Oliver Fetzer, chief executive officer at Synthetic Genomics. “C3J will bring development focus, phage manufacturing, and additional capabilities to move engineered phage therapeutics forward to commercialization addressing major unmet medical needs.”

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