Trius’ marine natural products preclinical program is fully funded by our contract from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), a part of the Department of Defense, through the research and preclinical development stages, subject to the achievement of certain milestones under our DTRA contract. Under this program, we intend to apply our proprietary focused antisense screening technology (FAST) and structure based drug design (SBDD) technology to screen chemical libraries created from marine micro-organisms collected by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a part of the University of California, San Diego. We are employing a panel of FAST assays which are selectively sensitized to inhibitors of unique bacterial targets. As a result, we believe the FAST approach will identify novel compounds active against resistant organisms and broad spectrum antibacterial agents. In addition, we believe this program has the potential to provide compounds with strong potency and in vivo efficacy.
The goal of the program is to produce an IND candidate and complete all of the studies required to file an IND with the FDA. A suitable candidate will have a broad spectrum of activity against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial pathogens, including multiple biodefense pathogens. We believe that any such candidate is likely to have broad commercial interest.