SOURCE: Cellceutix

January 27, 2015 10:00 ET

Cellceutix Enthusiastic About Proposed Budget Increase to $1.2 Billion to Fight Drug-Resistance Bacteria

BEVERLY, MA--(Marketwired - Jan 27, 2015) - Cellceutix Corporation (OTC: CTIX) (the "Company"), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies with oncology, dermatology and antimicrobial applications, is pleased to learn this morning that President Barack Obama will call upon Congress to double funding dedicated to fighting drug-resistant bacteria to $1.2 billion in his annual budget request scheduled to be released on Monday. 

As part of the new budget plan, the President wants to see a sharp increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for antibacterial research and diagnostics, as well as additional funds for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for evaluation of new antibiotic drugs. Experts have been warning of the great need for new drugs to combat "superbugs," deadly bacteria that do not respond to most of today's approved drugs, with the Obama administration calling antibiotic resistance a serious threat to public health and the economy in an Executive Order last September.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that antibiotic resistance causes about two million illnesses each year and is responsible for 23,000 deaths in the United States. Perhaps nothing exemplifies how deadly superbugs can be quite like the outbreak of Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) Klebsiella pneumoniae at the National Institute of Health's Clinical Center in 2012 that killed 11 people. Last month, Forbes published an article discussing the potential danger of athletes and visitors contracting and spreading drug-resistant infections at the upcoming 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro following the Brazil Health ministry determining water in Guanabara Bay contained multi-drug resistant organisms carrying carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae enzymes.

Cellceutix's research partners have been awarded $2 million in grants from the National Institute of Health, including a recent grant of $500,000 for research on drug-resistant Gram-negative infections.

Cellceutix believes that with its defensin-mimetic portfolio it has the most advanced class of antibiotics to attack and destroy this and possibly other superbugs. The killing ability of the compound against carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae is astounding. Cellceutix is presently conducting safety testing and subsequently will determine if the drug is to be advanced to clinical trials. The Company continues to work with its collaborators at Fox Chase to develop a novel drug candidate as quickly as possible to be ready for the Rio 2016 Olympics where this may become a serious threat.

"The recent Ebola outbreak overseas and constant warnings about the seriousness of drug-resistant superbugs should tell people that we're playing a serious game of Russian roulette with bacterium that defy today's drugs," commented Leo Ehrlich, Chief Executive Officer at Cellceutix. "This news of a proposed budget increased focusing on developing new antibiotics fits perfectly with our business model and we hope it will lead to not only additional grants for our novel drugs, but also even more opportunities to expedite development of our drugs to combat these deadly pathogens."

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About Cellceutix:
Headquartered in Beverly, Massachusetts, Cellceutix is a publicly traded company under the symbol "CTIX". Cellceutix is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies in oncology, dermatology and antimicrobial applications. Cellceutix believes it has a world-class portfolio of compounds and is now engaged in advancing its compounds and seeking strategic partnerships. Cellceutix's anti-cancer drug Kevetrin is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial at Harvard Cancer Centers' Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In the laboratory Kevetrin has shown to induce activation of p53, often referred to as the "Guardian Angel Gene" due to its crucial role in controlling cell mutations. Cellceutix will soon begin a Phase 2 clinical trial with its novel compound Brilacidin-OM for the prevention of Oral Mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer. Brilacidin-OM, a defensin mimetic compound, has shown in an animal model to reduce the occurrence of severe ulcerative oral mucositis by more than 94% compared to placebo. Cellceutix's anti-psoriasis drug Prurisol has recently completed a Phase 1 clinical trial and is being readied for a Phase 2 trial. Prurisol is a small molecule that acts through immune modulation and PRINS reduction. Cellceutix's lead antibiotic, Brilacidin, has completed a Phase 2b trial for Acute Bacterial Skin and Skin Structure Infections, or ABSSSI. Top-line data have shown a single dose of Brilacidin to deliver comparable clinical outcomes to the FDA-approved seven-day dosing regimen of daptomycin. Brilacidin has the potential to be a single-dose therapy for certain multi-drug resistant bacteria (Superbugs). Cellceutix has formed research collaborations with world-renowned research institutions in the United States and Europe, including MD Anderson Cancer Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the University of Bologna. More information is available on the Cellceutix web site at

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