HHS, international partners launch antibiotic research accelerator
Government agencies, health charities and other private partners have launched an international partnership to drive antibacterial research and development over the coming years.
The Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) is a joint effort of the HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Wellcome Trust of London, the AMR Center of Alderley Park, Boston University School of Law and others. These supporters have pledged several hundred million dollars of funding over the next 5 years to push promising antibiotic candidates through the early stages of development and provide preclinical research expertise to projects chosen by the public-private partnership.
“Increasingly, it is becoming clear that partnerships of global reach and efficiency are needed to address complex problems like antimicrobial resistance,” Richard J. Hatchett, MD, acting director of BARDA, said in a press release. “The establishment of CARB-X is a watershed moment; governments, academia, industry and nongovernment organizations have come together to operate under a common strategic framework to tackle a monumental public health threat of our time.”
The creation of partnerships such as CARB-X was a major goal prioritized within the 2015 National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. According to the CARB-X’s website, the collaboration has already committed $70 million to research funding within the coming year.
“Antibiotic resistance is a major public health problem that will only get worse without the creation of new antibiotic drugs to combat bacterial infections,” Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of NIAID, said in the release. “NIAID is enthusiastic about being a part of this effort to accelerate the discovery and development of a new generation of life-saving antibiotics.”
The founding and launch of CARB-X was applauded by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, which said the accelerator could help offset the risks and barriers facing new drug development.
“Antibiotic research and development is costly and risky, and presents little or no economic reward,” the organization wrote in a statement. “As a result, very few pharmaceutical companies are pursuing antibiotic R&D, and our pipeline of new antibiotics is far too slim and fragile to meet patient needs.
“IDSA is hopeful the new accelerator will foster the discovery, research and development of truly novel antibiotics and contribute to a robust and renewable antibiotic pipeline capable of meeting current and future patient needs.”