The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committing up to $20 million in grant funding and equity investment to further the development of an antibody platform and discovery of monoclonal antibody candidates against gram-negative bacteria, including those that cause neonatal sepsis

Important initiative has the potential to address a leading cause of neonatal mortality in developing countries

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 05, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achaogen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAO), a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel antibacterials addressing multidrug-resistant (MDR) gram-negative infections, today announced that it has signed an agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (the Gates Foundation) to partner in efforts to prevent neonatal sepsis in developing countries through the generation of monoclonal antibodies against gram-negative bacteria. Neonatal sepsis, a bacterial bloodstream infection (BSI) in newborn babies, causes approximately 345,000 deaths per year worldwide.

Achaogen will receive up to $10.5 million in grant funding along with a $10 million equity investment through a purchase of the Company’s common stock. The initial grant will support the discovery of monoclonal antibody candidates targeting Acinetobacter baumannii, a leading cause of neonatal sepsis and a major focus of Achaogen’s internal bactericidal antibody program. If successful, future grant funding could support additional antibody discovery and development efforts. The equity investment will significantly accelerate the overall development of Achaogen’s monoclonal antibody discovery platform with the intention of applying this platform to identify novel solutions to prevent and treat infections, including those that disproportionately impact the poor.

“We are honored to partner with the Gates Foundation on this important work, which is aligned with our mission to discover and develop treatments to combat infections caused by gram-negative pathogens,” said Kenneth Hillan, M.B. Ch.B., Achaogen's Chief Executive Officer. “This investment enables us to effectively pursue antibodies against neonatal sepsis while accelerating the development of our antibody platform. We are dedicated to improving the lives of patients with serious bacterial infections, and this innovative partnership and support from the Gates Foundation furthers that commitment.”

“Neonatal sepsis remains one of the deadliest conditions afflicting newborns globally, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of infants each year,” said Trevor Mundel, President of Global Health at the Gates Foundation. “The successful development of simple and sustainable prophylactics and therapeutics would make a tremendous impact towards decreasing neonatal mortality in developing countries. Achaogen’s expertise in gram-negative infections combined with their understanding of monoclonal antibody development will be important for the success of this approach and we look forward to a sustained partnership.”

The investment by the Gates Foundation was made as part of its program-related investments (PRI) strategy, which aims to stimulate private sector-driven innovation, encourage market-driven efficiencies and attract external capital to priority global health and development initiatives that improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people.

About Achaogen's Monoclonal Antibody Development Program
Achaogen is pursuing research and early development initiatives that are focused on discovering and developing novel antibodies to treat infections caused by MDR gram-negative pathogens. Achaogen’s antibody discovery platform allows the rapid identification of rare antibodies that disrupt bacterial membrane biogenesis, leading to bacterial cell death. The platform leverages recent advances in microfluidics, single B cell antibody cloning, and Achaogen’s deep expertise in bacterial genetics, to directly screen millions of individual B cells to discover rare functional antibodies within hours.

About Achaogen
Achaogen is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company passionately committed to the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative antibacterial treatments for MDR gram-negative infections. Achaogen is developing plazomicin, Achaogen’s lead product candidate, for the treatment of serious bacterial infections due to MDR Enterobacteriaceae, including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. Achaogen’s plazomicin program is funded in part with a contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Plazomicin is the first clinical candidate from Achaogen’s gram-negative antibiotic discovery engine, and Achaogen has other programs in early and late preclinical stages focused on other MDR gram-negative infections. The Company's monoclonal antibody development program aims to generate antibodies that can prevent or treat infections caused by MDR gram-negative pathogens. All product candidates are investigational only and have not been approved for commercialization. For more information, please visit www.achaogen.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained herein are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, Achaogen’s expectations regarding potential regulatory approval of plazomicin, Achaogen’s commercial objectives and Achaogen’s pipeline of product candidates. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause Achaogen's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward- looking statements, as well as risks relating to Achaogen's business in general, see Achaogen's current and future reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, filed on March 14, 2017. Achaogen does not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, whether as a result of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.

Source: Achaogen, Inc.
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