Octagon Therapeutics

new medicines for bacterial diseases


Multi-drug resistant infections are a looming epidemic. We are on the brink of the post-antibiotic era; a minor injury or routine surgery now has the potential to result in an untreatable infection.  This year more than 2 million patients will contract one of these infections in the US, resulting in high morbidity rates, extended hospital stays, and tens of thousands of patient deaths.  Novel antibiotics are desperately needed.  Recent projections estimate that resistant bacterial infections will be responsible for more than 10 million deaths by 2050 if current trends continue.  

Octagon has a pipeline of promising medicines to treat highly resistant bacterial pathogens including those in the "ESKAPE" group (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species).  These bacterial pathogens have been highlighted by the World Health Organization as among the most dangerous and present a critical unmet medical need. 

Proven Effectiveness

Octagon has demonstrated effectiveness against the most critical pathogens as identified by the WHO. 


Fundamental Discovery
Years of research in the academic setting led scientific founders Shen Yu and Fred Ausubel to observe that resistant bacterial pathogens respond differently to antibiotics based on specific metabolic parameters. This led to the identification of a virulence-driving metabolic pathways in resistant bacteria and the development of a novel screening platform based on these pathways.   The humble nematode has been a powerful model for investigating this mechanism.

Antibiotic compounds identified by Octagon can inhibit the target bacterial processes, reducing bacterial virulence and clearing pathogenic infections. Potential medicines identified with Octagon’s screening technology show no efficacy in standard drug discovery methods; this is a highly differentiated new class of antibiotics.



The first example of these novel medicines is OTG005.  This compound was identified with Octagon’s proprietary drug discovery platfrom, but is effectively invisible to other screening methods.  This compound acts through a completely novel antibacterial mechanism, and is now the basis for additional chemical optimization.

 OTG005 shows dose-dependent efficacy in animal infection models

OTG005 shows dose-dependent efficacy in animal infection models

Effectiveness in Animal Models
OTG005 has demonstrated compelling effectiveness against infections caused by Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas in animal models and has previously been shown to be safe in humans. Octagon is pursuing rapid pre-clinical development of this medicine.


Who We Are

Octagon World Headquarters is based in the Pagliuca Life Lab directly adjacent to Harvard campus. This state-of-the-art facility has allowed Octagon to accelerate the development of our vital medicines with minimal overhead and equipment costs. 

Octagon’s management team includes highly skilled scientists, clinicians, and entrepreneurs with decades of research experience and deep expertise in drug development.  The scientific team is growing and continues to add top research talent.


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