TAXIS Pharmaceuticals

Emerging Company in the Spotlight sponsored by JFK Communications.

BioNJ is pleased to shine the spotlight on one of our Innovation Members each month featuring their progress and work on behalf of Patients and their impact on the New Jersey life sciences ecosystem. This month’s Emerging Company in the Spotlight is TAXIS Pharmaceuticals.

So many of our Members are making a dramatic impact on our State’s innovation ecosystem. We celebrate you! TAXIS Pharmaceuticals is one such company.

TAXIS Pharmaceuticals is a privately held biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Monmouth Junction, NJ. Dedicated to the antibiotic resistance crisis, its mission is to discover drugs that will change the treatment landscape. Currently, TAXIS’ lead product is TXA709, a second-generation prodrug that is in the last stage of clinical development.

TXA709 is a treatment for MRSA that has proven to work despite other antibiotic resistance. TXA709 is metabolized in the body to produce the active agent, TXA707, a benzamide derivative that disrupts the function of FtsZ, a bacterial protein that is essential for bacterial cell division, resulting in bacterial cell death. The novel mechanism in TXA709 works in a way unlike other drugs and when tested against pathogens that were resistant against other drugs was successful.

Among many other advantages, TXA709 has three main features that make it a promising treatment option for the future:

  1. TXA709 works where other drugs fail — This attribute makes TXA709 vital to the fight against antibiotic resistance.
  2. Oral bioavailability — Unlike some standard treatments that may only be available by IV, requiring a patient to stay in the hospital, TXA709 is available orally allowing the patient to take the medicine at home.
  3. Specificity — The antibiotic resistance crisis came from the use of broad-spectrum drugs being used to treat many diseases causing the body to become resistant to them. TXA709 is extremely specific to treating MRSA.

In 2012, President Obama signed the GAIN Act, Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now, an act aimed at motivating companies to invest time and money researching new antibiotics. Under this bill, the FDA has the ability to designate drugs as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) providing them with incentives to continue development. In September, the FDA granted TXA709 with QIDP status. This status will give TXA709 priority review, potential fast track and up to 5 years of extended marketing exclusivity after it is approved. Among these incentives, this status also provides TAXIS with third-party validation of the promise of TXA709 from a reliable organization, the FDA.

By the end of the year, TAXIS will finish the pre-clinical trials for TXA709 and then hope to move forward to Phase I clinical trials in Australia during Quarter 2 of 2017. Current projections put TXA709 on the market by 2020.

Besides TXA709, TAXIS has a pipeline of other drugs that it is researching, including early stage research of EPIs effect on gram-negative bacteria. It plans on continuing to work in the drug discovery space, selling their discoveries to pharmaceutical companies.

TAXIS has partnered with Rutgers University on the research and development of TXA709 and other products, but it is open to partnerships with other research institutions. Once Phase I human data is in for TXA709, TAXIS will begin engaging with interested companies about purchasing the rights to this prodrug. For information about partnerships, please contact Bella Bien at bbien1107@gmail.com. To learn about TAXIS, visit www.taxispharma.com.