Locus Biosciences to develop K. pneumoniae-targeting phage therapy

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

Locus Biosciences will develop its LBP-KP01, CRISPR-Cas3-enhanced bacteriophage product targeting Klebsiella pneumoniae with a $12.5 million partnership with the global nonprofit Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X).

LBP-KP01 is a bacteriophage cocktail engineered with a CRISPR-Cas3 construct targeting the K. pneumoniae genome. The biologic works by utilizing the natural lytic activity of the bacteriophage along with the DNA-targeting activity of CRISPR-Cas3. Because of its dual mechanism of action, the product works on antibiotic-resistant strains and is more effective at killing K. pneumoniae than other natural bacteriophages.

Initially, the product will target recurrent urinary tract infections, similar to the company's previous Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)-funded program targeting Escherichia coli infection. The company also intends to develop the product for additional indications including pneumonia, intra-abdominal infections, and bacteremia.

The CARB-X contract will provide Locus with $2.05 million initially, and up to $10.5 million over three years to fund preclinical development of LBP-KP01 and phase I clinical trials.


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