2018-19 Annual Report: Progress in CARB-X’s fight against drug-resistant bacteria with new funding, expertise and strategic focus

2018-19 Annual Report: Progress in CARB-X’s fight against drug-resistant bacteria with new funding, expertise and strategic focus

Year 3 highlighted by strong growth, greater scientific diversity, and global reach

(BOSTON: September 11, 2019) – CARB-X has published its 2018-2019 Annual Report, detailing a year of solid progress in the organization’s funding and support of antibacterial R&D to address drug-resistant bacteria. In its third year of operation, CARB-X further expanded its partnership, increased funding for R&D, expanded the scientific diversity of its portfolio, and established a global network of accelerators to provide expertise and support to funded product developers around the world.

Highlights of the fiscal year, which closed July 31, 2019, include:

  • Growing portfolio: CARB-X announced seven new awards during the year, expanding the size and diversity of its portfolio. The current portfolio has 30 early-stage projects in five countries. CARB-X has provided $76.9 million in funding to these new antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostics and other life-saving products, with an additional $90 million in potential funding if the projects successfully progress through milestones. An additional $58.6 million in new awards has been approved, and awardees will be announced once contracts are completed. These funds are in addition to investments made by the companies themselves.
  • Innovation: The current portfolio supports 12 new classes of antibiotics, 14 new molecular targets, 10 non-traditional approaches including microbiome-based therapeutics, five diagnostics and three vaccines.
  • Stronger partnership: Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) joined the CARB-X partnership, committing €39 million over four years and boosting CARB-X funds to up to $500 million to invest in the development of antibacterial products. Germany joins the US and UK governments, Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as funders.
  • Broader expertise and support: CARB-X launched its Global Accelerator Network, a network of world-class life-sciences organizations to provide expertise and support to CARB-X funded product developers.
  • Increased funding: Four new funding rounds were announced, and to date since CARB-X was initiated, more than 1000 Expression of Interest applications have been received. CARB-X has also increased its share of project costs, assuming up to 80-90 per cent dependent on the stage of development of the product. The product developer assumes the balance.
  • Expanded team: With rapid expansion, comes the need to adapt and respond to growing needs. During the year, CARB-X strengthened its in-house capabilities and portfolio support teams, and redesigned its organization so that each product developer is served by the same team from the application process through graduation.

The CARB-X portfolio is the world’s largest early development portfolio addressing drug-resistant bacteria. In the three years since its launch, CARB-X has funded 47 projects, for a total obligation of over $135 million. Of those, five projects have graduated from the portfolio – four of which are currently in clinical development. In addition to today’s active portfolio, 12 projects did not progress, generally due to scientific findings and difficulty raising capital to meet cost share requirements.  Expanding the diversity of scientific approaches in the portfolio continues to be a major focus in the coming year.

Download the full report here.

This annual report is supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number IDSEP160030 from ASPR/BARDA and awards from Wellcome Trust, and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, as administrated by CARB-X. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, other funders, or CARB-X.  

Jennifer Robinson

About CARB-X
CARB-X is a global non-profit partnership and dedicated to accelerating early development antibacterial R&D to address the rising global threat of drug-resistant bacteria. CARB-X is led by Boston University and funding is provided by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in the US Department of Health and Human Services , the Wellcome Trust, a global charity based in the UK working to improve health globally, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and with in-kind support from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). A non-profit partnership, CARB-X is investing more than $500 million from 2016-2021 to support innovative antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines, rapid diagnostics and devices. CARB-X supports the world’s largest and most innovative pipeline of preclinical products against drug-resistant infections. CARB-X focuses exclusively on high priority drug-resistant bacteria, especially Gram-negatives. CARB-X is headquartered at Boston University School of Law.  Follow us on Twitter @CARB_X.

The US Department of Health and Human Services works to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans, providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. Within HHS, ASPR’s mission is to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats. ASPR leads the nation’s medical and public health preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters and public health emergencies. BARDA provides a comprehensive, integrated, portfolio approach to the advanced research and development, innovation, acquisition, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures – vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical products for public health emergency threats. These threats include chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases. NIH is the primary US federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. NIAID conducts and supports research — at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide — to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses.

About Wellcome Trust
Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate. The Wellcome Trust is a charity registered in England and Wales, no. 210183. Its sole trustee is The Wellcome Trust Limited, a company registered in England and Wales, no. 2711000 (whose registered office is at 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK)

About BMBF
Education and research are the foundations for our future. The promotion of education, science and research by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) represents an important contribution to securing Germany’s prosperity. Education and research are a Federal Government policy priority, which is reflected in the development of the funding it is making available to these fields. 

About the Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF)
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is the UK Government department which is responsible for helping people to live more independent, healthier lives for longer.

The partnership with CARB-X is part of DHSC’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF). GAMRIF was established to provide seed funding for innovative research and development, specifically in neglected and underinvested areas, in the field of AMR.  GAMRIF is a £50m UK Aid investment, which means all projects funded must support research primarily and directly for the benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Fund takes a ‘One Health’ approach, seeking to invest in potential solutions to reduce the threat of AMR in humans, animals, fish and the environment. The Fund seeks to leverage additional global funding through interaction with international government bodies, public-private partnerships, product development partnerships, global funding mechanisms and global fora.

About Boston University 
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. For further information, please contact Jeremy Thompson at