Melinta Therapeutics Announces Strategic Realignment and New Corporate
Identity Based on Strong Scientific Foundation of Rib-X Pharmaceuticals
Melinta Therapeutics - the Antibiotics Company - Remains Focused on the
Commercialization of Novel Antibiotics
NEW HAVEN, Conn. & NEW YORK, Oct. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Melinta
Therapeutics, Inc., formerly Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, today announced the launch
a new corporate identity, an important milestone in the Company's evolution.
Melinta's new strategic direction leverages the Nobel Prize-winning science
developed by Rib-X's founders. To accelerate the product portfolio, the
Company will be led by a new management team with experience launching and
building pharmaceutical brands. The driving force behind this new strategic
direction is Melinta's new lead investor, Vatera Healthcare Partners, a
specialized venture capital firm with a proven ability to build successful
life sciences companies. The culmination of this process is marked with the
launch of Melinta Therapeutics, an organization focused on bringing novel,
differentiated antibiotics to market.
"Moving forward as Melinta, we remain deeply committed to the development and
commercialization of novel, differentiated antibiotics, including what we
believe are potential ground-breaking candidates," said Mary T. Szela, chief
executive officer of Melinta Therapeutics. "The increasing incidence of
resistant bacterial infections is of paramount concern worldwide--an issue
that is compounded by the decades-long lack of innovation in the
space.Melinta is building a pipeline of antibiotics, including our lead
candidate, delafloxacin, with the activity and safety profiles necessary to
address even the most challenging bacterial infections. With a new strategy
and executive team in place, and supported by the visionary team at Vatera, we
are working to advance these antibiotics forward rapidly."
"Every successful life sciences company reaches a stage at which they must
evolve from discovery to a development organization," commented Thomas
Koestler, Ph.D., executive director of Vatera and chairman of the Melinta
board of directors. "We recognized that Melinta had reached this important
inflection point at the end of 2012. It was at this time that we became
involved as a majority owner to steer Melinta in a direction that would build
on the solid scientific foundation of the Company, and accelerate the clinical
development of life-saving antibiotics."
Melinta's lead antibiotic candidate, delafloxacin, a novel fluoroquinolone, is
being developed to treat acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections
(ABSSSI) and hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia. Delafloxacin is currently
in Phase 3 development in oral and IV formulations for ABSSSI, a major reason
for hospitalizations in the U.S., often caused by methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Delafloxacin is designated as a Qualified
Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) by the FDA in ABSSSI as well as hospital-
and community-acquired bacterial pneumonia.
Melinta also has several earlier-stage antibiotic development programs that
are derived from the Company's proprietary knowledge of the structure and
function of the bacterial ribosome. Among these development programs is
RX-04, in which Melinta synthesized a new class of antibiotics, the
pyrrolocytosines, which have demonstrated in vitro activity and preclinical
efficacy against multi-drug resistant Gram-negative and Gram-positive strains
of bacteria known to cause complicated urinary tract, skin and lung
infections, as well as sepsis. Melinta is completing pre-clinical work on the
lead candidate from the RX-04 program with the goal of progressing this
candidate into human trials. In addition, the Company has a proprietary
scaffold with innovative anti-fungal agents and a mid-clinical phase
oxazolidinone compound, radezolid that offers a potentially improved and
differentiated clinical profile vs. others in the class.
Kevin Ferro, chief executive officer of Vatera and a member of the Melinta
board of directors added, "The opportunity to invest in and develop
life-saving therapies for MRSA infections and Gram-negative pathogens is
enormously appealing to us. It is this type of innovation and differentiation
that we look for in an investment opportunity--Melinta has an exciting
portfolio including a platform technology that we hope can be harnessed to
address serious public health needs."
About Melinta Therapeutics - The Antibiotics Company
Melinta Therapeutics, based on the application of Nobel Prize-winning science,
is dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of
groundbreaking antibiotics to overcome drug-resistant, life-threatening
infections. The need for new therapies for drug-resistant infections is widely
recognized as one of the most serious public health issues facing the world
today. To meet this need, Melinta Therapeutics is rapidly progressing its
late-stage investigational antibiotic, delafloxacin, which is currently in
Phase 3 development for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections
(ABSSSI). A key initiative at Melinta is to develop a new class of antibiotics
designed to overcome the drug-resistant ESKAPE pathogens known to cause
serious hospital infections. Melinta Therapeutics is privately held and backed
by Vatera Healthcare Partners and Warburg Pincus. The company is headquartered
in New Haven, CT with offices in Lincolnshire, IL.
For more information, please visit www.melinta.com.
About Vatera Healthcare Partners LLC
Vatera Healthcare Partners is a venture capital firm established by Michael
Jaharis, co-founder of Kos Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical
company sold to Abbott Laboratories in 2006 for $4.2 billion, and founder and
CEO of Key Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company that
merged with Schering-Plough in 1986 for $836 million. Vatera focuses on
investing in biopharmaceutical firms and products with the goal of building
and growing companies by leveraging the team's collective experience and
expertise in the pharmaceutical industry and strong network of relationships
within industry and academia.
For more information, please visit www.vaterahealthcare.com.
CONTACT: Melinta Therapeutics
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