Next Wave of Antibiotics Being Developed in a Malvern Lab

Christopher Burns

Malvern-based VenatoRx Pharmaceuticals is working hard to develop the next wave of antibiotics to fight hard-to-treat bacterial and viral infections, writes Queen Muse for Philadelphia magazine.

The company was founded by Daniel Pevear, Luigi Xerri, and Christopher Burns a decade ago. The three scientists were previously the principals of Protez Pharmaceuticals but left soon after it was acquired by Novartis. From there, they decided to focus on developing treatments for gram-negative bacteria that cause infections such as pneumonia and meningitis.

“We knew we wanted to stay in antibiotics because we were all scientists who had learned a lot about how you discover and develop antibiotics,” said Burns. “We also saw that the next big challenge in the space would be the need for new drugs for resistance and gram-negative bacteria.”

They named their new company after the Latin word for hunter, “ventor,” and “Rx,” the medical symbol for drugs.

The company currently has four products in the pipeline. Its lead product, taniborbactam, is in Phase III clinical trials. When combined with a certain older antibiotic, taniborbactam may be a viable treatment for complicated urinary tract infections.

Burns estimates that taniborbactam could be on the market as early as 2022.

Read more about VenatoRx in Philadelphia magazine here.

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