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With New Antibiotic in Hand, RQx Pharmaceuticals Looks for Partner

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developing new antibiotics for treating multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacterial infection.

And so RQx Therapeutics was born. In a regulatory filing at this time last year, Avalon disclosed that it was providing the first $1 million of what could be as much as $7 million in funding for the company. Since then, San Diego’s Correlation Ventures has joined as a venture investor.

Today, the company consists of five regular employees (including two former grad students from Romesberg’s lab). Over the past year, the scientific team has validated the target initially identified in Romesberg’s lab, and added hundreds of arylomycin analogs to the RQx library.

“The RQx story is early but very encouraging and impressive, especially considering that Big Pharma has been focused on this target for many years,” Turner says. At this point, he added, the team is focused on “getting the data to an inflection point that would be interesting to Big Pharma.

“If you can kill bacteria in a mouse, it’s very translatable [to human beings], so it would be easier to make early calls” to prospective industry partners, Turner says. “We are in a very good position now to partner the program.”

As for their initial meeting, which led directly to the founding of RQx, Romesberg says, “It really was pretty serendipitous.”

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