Two New Grants for Targeted Antibacterial Proteins

South San Francisco, CA: AvidBiotics today announced the receipt of two new grants totaling $1 million dollars from the National Institutes of Health that further the development of the company’s novel Avidocin™ platform for targeted antibacterial proteins against important health care threats. These grants add to three previous grants covering AvidBiotics’ anti-infectious disease technologies, which provide approximately $3.4 million in currently active funding for the company.

“Recent discoveries regarding the importance of the human microbiota in human health and disease emphasize the need for narrow-spectrum antibacterial agents that avoid the collateral damage of broad-spectrum antibiotics,” said David Martin, M.D., AvidBiotics’ chief executive officer. “Avidocin™ proteins represent a new class of highly targeted bactericidal agents that avoid the problems associated with antibiotic overuse and abuse and offer opportunities for both the prevention and treatment of bacterial diseases.”

The new grants include:

  • An R21 grant to fund the generation of a portfolio of Avidocin™ proteins , targeting foodborne bacteria causing gastrointestinal disease.
  • An SBIR Phase 1 grant to fund the creation, evaluation and preclinical development of an engineered Avidocin™ protein targeting specifically Acinetobacter, a bacterium associated with serious, often broadly antibiotic-resistant infections in Intensive Care Units and incurred by U.S. military deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This new funding adds to three other active grants received previously by AvidBiotics:

  • A SBIR Phase 2 grant for the non-clinical development of Avidocin™ proteins against plague; this grant follows a previously completed Phase 1 grant for plague.
  • A SBIR Phase 1 grant for development of Avidocin™ proteins against E. coli 0157:H7, an important cause of food borne bloody diarrhea that in some children results in kidney failure.
  • A SBIR Phase 1 grant to develop targeted, soluble MICA molecules to recruit innate immunity cells to kill LCM and Yellow Fever Virus infected cells; this grant explores applications of AvidBiotics Micacide™ technology for the targeted killing of virus infected cells.

“This continued support from NIH validates the innovative nature and broad applicability of our technology and approach to the treatment of serious, often antibiotic-resistant infectious diseases,” said James L. Knighton, AvidBiotics’ president. “In the four years since AvidBiotics’ founding, we have received approximately $4 million in NIH funding covering aspects of each of the company’s three technologies: Avidocin™ proteins, Micacide™ proteins, and our technology for protein diversity generation, which can be applied to both product platforms.”

About AvidBiotics’ Technology

AvidBiotics is developing two proprietary platforms for the generation of non-antibody proteins against infectious diseases and cancers: Avidocin™ proteins and Micacide™ proteins.

Avidocin™ proteins are highly targeted, non-toxic, non-antibody proteins that specifically bind to a targeted bacterium and kill it by punching a hole. Such narrow-spectrum antibacterial killing avoids the collateral damage to beneficial bacteria such as that caused by broad-spectrum antibiotic use. Avidocin™ proteins kill antibiotic-resistant pathogens and do not promote the spread of multi-drug resistance, nor do they cause the release of exotoxins upon killing bacteria. Avidocin™ proteins have both prophylactic and therapeutic potential, and possible applications exist both within and outside of human health, including applications in human conditions like obesity, as well as in food safety, animal husbandry, biodefense and environmental management. AvidBiotics is currently developing an Avidocin™ protein approach against E. coli 0157:H7 for use in meat processing in collaboration with EcoLab, Inc.

Micacide™ proteins mimic natural immune targeting mechanisms to enhance the killing of virus-infected or cancerous cells by the innate immune system. Micacide proteins bind to specific targeted markers on the surface of infected or cancerous cells where they flag the cells for destruction by the innate immune system.

About AvidBiotics

AvidBiotics is a privately held developer of novel, non-antibody proteins as targeted therapeutics against infectious organisms and cancers. The company is focusing its own development efforts on human therapeutics, including Avidocin™ proteins against C. difficile GI tract infections and recurrent E. coli urinary tract infections, while taking advantage of near-term collaborative opportunities offered by other applications of its products and technology platforms including non-core applications in such areas as food safety, cleantech and biodefense. For more information on AvidBiotics, please visit our website at