-- Globe Newswire reported on June 20th -- Spero Therapeutics, Inc., a multi-asset clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying, developing and commercializing treatments in high unmet need areas involving multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacterial infections and rare diseases, today announced that it entered into a collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute (Gates MRI) to develop SPR720 for the treatment of lung infections caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), an indication that is designated as a critical concern by the World Health Organization (WHO).
SPR720 is an orally administered antimicrobial agent currently being developed by Spero Therapeutics for the treatment of rare non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infections. Spero has granted Gates MRI an exclusive license to develop, manufacture and commercialize SPR720 for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB) in low- and middle- income countries (LMIC). Gates MRI will conduct and fund preclinical and clinical studies for the development of SPR720 against TB, and also fund certain collaborative activities in furtherance of Gates MRI’s charitable purposes. SPR720 was discovered by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and was acquired by Spero Therapeutics in 2016. Vertex and Spero have reached an agreement to enable the collaboration between Spero and the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute for the further development of this compound in low- and middle- income countries.
“We are excited about the prospects of SPR720 for treatment of NTM, and also see an important unmet need in the treatment of TB around the world. We look forward to working with Gates MRI to advance the development of SPR720 to help address the current public health crisis in TB within LMIC,” said Ankit Mahadevia, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Spero Therapeutics. “Spero will benefit from the significant development and industry experience that the Gates MRI team can offer as well as synergies between the TB and NTM development paths as SPR720 progresses through clinical trials.”
“Our translational medicine focus is on advancing novel product candidates from the lab to human studies against diseases that disproportionately affect the poor,” remarked Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute Chief Executive Officer Penny Heaton, MD. “We are very pleased to work with Spero on SPR720, a potential new tool to meaningfully address tuberculosis, the leading causing of death from infectious disease in the world.”