Founders of Tetraphase create a startup to develop fifth generation macrolide antibiotics

Macrolide Pharmaceuticals has completed a Series A financing of $22 million led by Novartis Venture Fund, Gurnet Point Capital, Roche Ventures, and SROne. Just as its name suggests, the company focuses on the R&D of novel macrolide antibiotics.

The company was co-founded by Lawrence Miller and Andrew Myers who have previously co-founded another antibiotics company, Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: TTPH). Tetraphase focuses on tetracycline antibiotics, while Macrolide focuses on macrolide antibiotics.

The first three generations of macrolides (erythromycin, clarithromycin, azithromycin) have been available in the market, and the fourth generation, solithromycin developed by Cempra Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CEMP), is currently undergoing phase III trials. Macrolide intends to develop the so-called fifth generation macrolide antibiotics.

Erythromycin, the first macrolide antibiotic, was isolated from Saccharopolyspora erythrea. Clarithromycin and azithromycin were prepared by semisynthesis. Scientists’ inability to total synthesize macrolides limited the discovery of novel macrolide antibiotics.

Macrolide’s technology developed by Andrew Myers for the first time enables a scalable total synthesis of macrolide structures from basic building blocks. In fact, they have synthesized more than 200 completely novel macrolides.

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