Bicycle Therapeutics, a biotechnology company pioneering a new class of therapeutics based on its proprietary bicyclic peptide (Bicycle®) product platform, today announced it has been awarded a contract from the Department of Health and Social Care as part of the Small Business Research Initiative, or SBRI. SBRI Healthcare is an initiative to identify new ideas and technologies addressing future challenges to the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS). Under the contract, Bicycle will identify Bicycle® inhibitors to a range of Penicillin Binding Proteins (PBPs) from pathogens of significant medical concern and investigate their antimicrobial activity.

Bicycle’s research proposal was submitted in response to a competitive call for novel strategies targeting antimicrobial resistance in humans. Since 2009, Bicycle Therapeutics has addressed more than 90 drug targets with an 80 percent success rate, leading to two ongoing clinical programs, including its lead program BT1718 which is in Phase I/IIa for oncology. Under this new award, Bicycle will now adapt its ultra-high throughput proprietary phage screening platforms to screen targets to discover novel inhibitors of PBPs, key drug targets that catalyze bacterial cell wall biosynthesis. Bicycle will target the PBPs of key bacterial pathogens classified by the World Health Organization as either “critical” or “high” threats and which present a significant healthcare concern for U.K. hospitals. The work will be led by Dr. Mike Dawson, an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience in infectious disease drug discovery and development.

“Bicycle’s unique and versatile technology is well-suited to creating a new class of antibacterial agents to address widespread antibiotic resistance, and we are honored to receive this funding from SBRI Healthcare,” said Kevin Lee, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Bicycle Therapeutics. “The Department of Health and Social Care’s recent announcement of a five-year plan to target antimicrobial resistance, along with its commitment to trial reimbursement mechanisms that are decoupled from antibiotic sales, marks a sea change in incentives for companies like ours with the technology to address antibiotic resistance. Patients worldwide will benefit from a more robust market for antimicrobials.”

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