Monday, December 29, 2014 Last update: 7:03 AM - Covering Large & Obscure Tech Companies Since 1996

Spero Therapeutics to Present Data on the Impact of Targeted MvfR-Regulon Inhibitors on Gram Negative Bacteria at Upcoming ICAAC Meeting

Companies mentioned in this article: Spero Therapeutics, LLC

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Spero Therapeutics, LLC, a biopharmaceutical company founded to develop novel therapies for treatment of bacterial infections, today announced that data on the original compounds that serve as the foundational research for the company’s MvfR inhibitor program will be presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC). Spero will present data in symposium and poster sessions showing activity of MvfR inhibitors against Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. The conference will take place on September 5-9th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC.

Session # 144

Title: Alternative Treatment Approaches for Bacterial Infections.

Speaker: Laurence G. Rahme, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

Session Type: Symposium

Topic: Inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa MvfR Reduces Acute Virulence and Chronic Infection Phenotypes

Date: Monday, September 8, 2014

Presentation Time: 8:30 to 10:30 AM

Location: Room 143 A


  • Infections caused by Gram-negative bacterial pathogens are becoming increasingly difficult to treat due to resistance to current antibacterial drugs. There is an urgent need to identify new antimicrobial drugs that will help circumvent the current antibiotic resistance crisis.
  • Bacterial pathogens often develop resistance to antibiotic drugs that target bacterial growth or viability. However strategies that specifically target virulence pathways non-essential for growth could limit selection for resistance.
  • This study examines the bacterial communication system MvfR (PqsR), which is known to control virulence of the opportunistic bacterial pathogen P. aeruginosa. Small molecule compounds were identified and optimized that effectively silenced the MvfR communication system, and as a result blocked P. aeruginosa virulence both in vitro and in vivo.
  • These new compounds are the first known to restrict the ability of bacteria to form antibiotic-tolerant cells and consequently proved to be very effective at preventing persistent infection in a mammalian infection model.
  • Conclusion: Because of their ability to simultaneously block acute and persistent infections, these new molecules may provide a strong basis for the development of next generation antimicrobials.

Session # 168

Title: Advances against Gram-Negative Pathogens

Poster Title: Identification of Anti-Virulence Compounds that Disrupt Quorum-Sensing

Regulated Acute and Persistent Pathogenicity

Presentation # F-1555

Authors: M. Starkey #1, F. Lepine #2, D. Maura #1, A. Bandyopadhaya1, B. Lesic1, J. He1, T. Kitao1, V. Righi1, S. Milot2, A. A. Tzika1, L. G. Rahme1;

1Massachusetts Gen. Hosp., Harvard Med. Sch., Shriners Hosp., Boston, MA, 2INRS-Inst. Armand Frappier, Laval, QC, Canada

Date: Monday, Sep 08, 2014

Presentation Time: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Location: Exhibit Hall B


  • Etiological agents of acute, persistent, or relapsing clinical infections - such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa - are often refractory to antibiotics due to multidrug resistance and/or antibiotic tolerance.
  • Forty MvfR-regulon inhibitors, that specifically inhibit infection without affecting bacterial growth or viability to mitigate resistance selection, were identified using a whole-cell, high-throughput screen of ~300,000 compounds. Subsequently the potency of the compounds was improved.
  • As a result, these inhibitors reduced P. aeruginosa virulence in vivo in both murine acute lung infection or burn infection models.
  • In addition, these compounds reduced antibiotic-tolerant persisters formation by inhibiting the pro-persistent QS molecule 2-AA, and consequently proved to be very effective at preventing persistent infection in mice.
  • Conclusion: Molecules targeting the MvfR-regulated P. aeruginosa quorum sensing (QS) virulence pathway provide for the development of next-generation clinical therapeutics to treat deleterious bacterial-human infections refractory to existing therapies.

About Spero

Spero is a product-focused biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of novel treatments for bacterial infections and is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Spero’s MvfR inhibitor program works differently from existing antibiotics by targeting a pathway involved in two critical bacterial processes: virulence and persistence. Spero’s drug candidates may uniquely reduce the morbidity caused by severe infections and promote their clearance, including in bacterial strains highly resistant to even the most potent existing antibiotics. For more information, please visit

Copyright © Business Wire 2014

Spero Therapeutics:
Ankit Mahadevia, M.D., 617-588-2600
Venture Partner at Atlas Ventures
Suda Communications LLC
Maureen L. Suda, 585-387-9248