ASN400: Targeting Streptococcus pneumoniae (Pneumococcus)
Unmet Medical Need Due to Streptococcus pneumoniae, a Leading Cause of Mortality Among the Elderly
Severe community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) affects mostly elderly patients and is the sixth most frequent cause of death among this population. Streptococcus pneumoniae is most frequent causative agent of CABP, with a reported frequency ranging from 12 to 48%, depending on the geographical region. The estimated total number of CABP hospitalizations is about 1.6 million per year in the US, Europe, and Japan. As the population continues to age in developed countries, this figure is expected to increase significantly. Although S. pneumoniae is viewed as a pathogen susceptible to commonly used antibiotics, antibiotic resistance continues to increase, and multi-drug resistant S. pneumoniae strains have recently been reported in Europe.
Despite the currently low levels of antibiotic resistance, patients hospitalized with CABP still have significant 30-day mortality rates, highlighting the limitations of treatment with traditional antibiotics. Mortality increases significantly with admission to the intensive care unit, where the 30-day CABP mortality rates are ~25%. These mortality rates have not improved in the last 5 decades despite new antibiotic therapies, likely because antibiotics alone do not address important virulence mechanisms that lead to unfavorable outcomes during serious S. pneumoniae infections.
The ASN400 program is currently in the discovery phase and is designed to counteract important virulence mechanisms of S. pneumoniae.