The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has selected teams from Yale University, University of Washington and Broad Institute to support a program meant to develop therapeutics for multidrug resistant microbial infections.
The three teams will use synthetic chemistry, drug discovery methods, chemical biology and medicinal chemistry to combat bacterial pathogens under DARPA’s Harnessing Enzymatic Activity for Lifesaving Remedies program, the agency said Friday.
Seth Cohen, HEALR program manager, said the program aims to help speed up recoveries of warfighters and help them control bacterial infections by developing drugs that can home in on “highly resistant and immune-evasive bacterial infections.”
HEALR will address three technical areas: microbial targeting, host machinery engagement and platform integration.
The program’s initial phase will run for 24 months and efforts under this phase will demonstrate the HEALR concept’s effectiveness. The second phase will enable the teams to further develop their technology and demonstrate the efficacy of their treatments against a pathogenic target. The teams will be required to send their drug candidates for review by the Food and Drug Administration.