Our Science

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the world’s most serious health threats.

At Entasis, we are working to develop novel antibacterials to treat serious drug-resistant bacterial infections.

Around the world, it is increasingly recognized that antibiotic resistance is a growing public health threat. The development of new antibiotic therapies is not keeping pace with the rise of antibiotic resistance and some life-threatening infections cannot be successfully treated with existing medicines. The World Health Organization (WHO) said this threat is “no longer a prediction for the future, it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone.”

Areas of research focus

Acinetobacter baumannii | Enterobacteriaceae | Pseudomonas aeruginosa | Neisseria gonorrhoeae

“According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the US alone, more than 2 million people get antibiotic-resistant infections each year and more than 23,000 people die as a result. At Entasis, we are working hard to change that.”

— Xiaoyun Wu, Senior Scientist

Acinetobacter baumannii 

Acinetobacter baumannii is a major hospital-associated gram-negative pathogen that causes a wide range of diseases including respiratory tract, bloodstream, urinary tract and wound infections. A rise in infections due to multidrug-resistant (MDR) A. baumannii strains has been reported over the last 2 decades, limiting treatment options to only a few drugs. However, a global surge in carbapenem resistance has been observed recently. A. baumannii infections result in mortality rates approaching 50% for pneumonia and bacteremia. For this reason, the Infectious Diseases Society of America has included A. baumannii among the six most-threatening antimicrobial-resistant pathogens responsible for high morbidity and mortality in patients.

Enterobacteriaceae

Extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) are enzymes that allow bacteria to become resistant to a wide variety of antibiotics. An estimated 140,000 healthcare-associated Enterobacteriaceae infections occur in the US each year. Of these, approximately 26,000 infections and 1,780 deaths are attributable to ESBLs. The CDC estimates that in addition to the human toll, such infections result in $40,000 in excess hospital charges per occurrence.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common cause of health-care associated infections including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, urinary tract infections and surgical site infections. About 13% of severe healthcare-associated infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa are multi-drug resistant, meaning several classes of antibiotics no longer cure these infections.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae 

Zoliflodacin (ETX0914), is a first-in-class, novel oral antibiotic for the treatment of uncomplicated gonorrhea and has been designated a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) by the FDA and awarded Fast Track status. The emergence of multi-drug-resistant N. gonorrhoeae has created a substantial need for new oral therapies. Although these infections are not typically life-threatening for adults, they can carry high morbidity and enhance transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases. Treatment that can be administered in its entirety during a single contact with a health-care provider remains an important challenge. Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease. In the United States alone, according to the CDC, an estimated 820,000 cases of the disease are contracted each year, of which 30% are resistant to existing antibiotics. The disease can cause severe reproductive complications, as well as, discharge and inflammation at the urethra, cervix, pharynx or rectum. A randomized, open-label Phase 2 study of oral ETX0914 (formerly AZD0914) was completed in December of 2015 in individuals with uncomplicated gonorrhea.