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The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that the Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) has invested in Blacksburg, Va.-based Techulon, a preclinical-phase therapeutics company developing a new class of novel antimicrobial compounds to target antimicrobial resistant pathogens. Techulon’s discovery process and therapeutic platform for developing pathogen-specific antibiotics is undergoing extensive preclinical validation. The startup plans to use this VFF capital to help advance its Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas drug candidates and to fund ongoing development of other pipeline drugs.

Resistance to antibiotics is one of the biggest threats to global health and food security today. Approximately three million Americans per year become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, resulting in at least 35,000 deaths each year; not to mention increased hospital stays and higher medical costs. Current treatment options are becoming highly resistant and are ineffective, creating a desperate need to rapidly develop new antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial infections. Techulon is addressing this challenge with their drug discovery platform, which is pathogen-specific and allows for rapid discovery of new, novel antibiotics for pathogens that are highly resistant.

“Each year, we lose thousands of people due to the severity of antibiotic resistance. Techulon’s scalable platform improves discovery outcomes and lowers healthcare expenses. To date, we have developed several lead candidates, the most advanced targeted toward MRSA, Pseudomonas, and Acinetobacter infections with successful in vitro and in vivo studies,” said Bud Thompson, CEO of Techulon. “Our mission is to open the door for new treatment options for physicians to improve patient care. We are grateful for the support of CIT’s Virginia Founders Fund, which is enabling accelerated development of new drug candidates.”

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Techulon is located at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center