AntexBiologics formed a new subsidiary, AntexPharma Inc., that will develop and market anti-infective drugs, specifically targeting the areas of antibiotic-resistant infections, hospital-acquired infections and newly emerging diseases.

Gaithersburg, Md.-based AntexBiologics' other division is MicroCarb Human Vaccines Inc.

"Our mission is to develop products to prevent and treat infectious diseases and related disorders," said Theresa Stevens, vice president of corporate development for AntexBiologics. "We've been successful in using our technologies to develop vaccines. We knew we had the capabilities to use the technologies in discovering new compounds and felt that a new subsidiary specifically directed to that mission would be the best way to go."

The company plans to hire new employees. The new subsidiary will utilize AntexBiologics' NST and ART technology. NST is the ex vivo simulation of the in vivo environment used to produce bacteria that are identical to the infectious bacteria that cause human diseases.

"We can grow bacteria in our laboratories that look and act more like the bacteria a sick person has than what is traditionally grown in the lab," she said.

The ART technology identifies the host cell receptors to which bacteria bind. This binding is the first step in the bacterial infection process.

"Once we've identified the receptor we can then identify the specific protein — that is the specific molecule — the bacteria uses to bind to the host cell. We can use both technologies to discover new chemical entities that are anti-bacterials. These platforms also allow us to identify novel targets to design anti-bacterial compounds."

AntexBiologics has three vaccines that are in clinical trials and another ready to enter soon.

AntexBiologics' stock (OTC:ANTX) closed at $0.844, up $0.094. — Mary Welch