(BOSTON, MA) – April 26, 2018 – CARB-X is funding Achaogen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAO) of South San Francisco, CA, to support the development of a next-generation broad-spectrum aminoglycoside antibiotic capable of overcoming resistance mechanisms and potentially treating highly-resistant pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii. Under the agreement, Achaogen will receive an initial award of up to $2.4 million with the possibility of up to $9.6 million more in two additional stages based on the achievement of certain project milestones.
“Achaogen’s research reflects important advances in the battle to overcome drug-resistance mechanisms. The world urgently needs new antibiotics, rapid diagnostics, vaccines and entirely new approaches to protect us from drug-resistant bacteria,” said Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X. “The projects in the Powered by CARB-X portfolio are in the early stages of research, but if successful, these innovative projects hold great potential to treat serious infections and fight against the rise of drug-resistant bacteria.”
“We are honored to have CARB-X’s support in advancing our novel aminoglycoside program, which we believe has significant potential to address the growing multi-drug resistance problem in gram-negative bacteria,” said Lee Swem, Ph.D., Achaogen’s Chief Scientific Officer. “The race to develop innovative antibiotics is an ongoing fight against bacterial evolution, which continuously evolve to develop resistance to current therapies. We believe that CARB-X’s financial support is vital to advancing research programs, like ours, that have the potential to impact the lives of patients with serious bacterial infections.”
Aminoglycosides have been a cornerstone of antibiotic treatments for over 70 years but face growing resistance. Achaogen has focused on engineering aminoglycosides to overcome resistance mechanisms. With CARB-X support, Achaogen will pursue a next-generation aminoglycoside with the aim of overcoming clinically-relevant resistance mechanisms and potentially treating pathogens such as Enterobacteriaceae, P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii, for which there are few new agents in development.
New antibiotics, diagnostics and other products are needed urgently to treat bacteria that are becoming increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 700,000 people die each year worldwide from bacterial infections. According to the CDC, in the United States alone, an estimated 23,000 people die each year from drug-resistant bacterial infections. Antibacterial innovation has declined over past decades while resistance has been on the rise.
The CARB-X portfolio is the world’s largest and most scientifically diverse portfolio of early development antibacterial projects with 31 projects including antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics to respond to the threat of drug-resistant bacteria. CARB-X, which stands for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, funds projects in 7 countries and is working to expand its pipeline with the best science from around the world.
Since it was established in 2016, CARB-X has announced awards totaling $79.8 million, plus an additional $107.5 million if project milestones are met, to accelerate the development of antibiotics and other products. These funds are in addition to investments made by the companies themselves.
CARB-X is a partnership between the UK charity Wellcome Trust, the US Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
CARB-X is the world’s largest public-private partnership devoted solely to accelerating early development antibacterial R&D. Funded by ASPR/BARDA and Wellcome Trust, with in-kind support from NIAID, CARB-X is investing up to $455 million from 2016-2021 to support innovative antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines, rapid diagnostics and devices to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections. CARB-X focuses on high priority drug-resistant bacteria, especially Gram-negatives. CARB-X operates through Boston University. Other partners include RTI International, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, MassBio, and the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI). http://www.carb-x.org/.
Achaogen is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company passionately committed to the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative antibacterial treatments for multidrug resistant (MDR) gram-negative infections. Achaogen is developing plazomicin, its lead product candidate, for the treatment of serious bacterial infections due to MDR Enterobacteriaceae, including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. The Food and Drug Administration has granted plazomicin Breakthrough Therapy designation for the treatment of bloodstream infections caused by certain Enterobacteriaceae in patients who have limited or no alternative treatment options. The Company’s second product candidate is C-Scape, an orally-administered beta-lactam/beta-lactamase inhibitor combination. Achaogen’s plazomicin program has been funded, and its C-Scape program is funded, in part with federal funds from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Achaogen has received funding from the Wellcome Trust to support aspects of of plazomicin development.
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)
HHS is the principal federal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.
A leading research university with over 33,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 130 countries, nearly 10,000 faculty and staff, 17 schools and colleges, and 250 fields of study. Boston University is consistently ranked among the world’s best research universities and is a member of the American Association of Universities. For further information, see www.bu.edu
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was launched in 2004 to empower this generation of creative scientists to transform medicine. The Broad Institute seeks to describe all the molecular components of life and their connections; discover the molecular basis of major human diseases; develop effective new approaches to diagnostics and therapeutics; and disseminate discoveries, tools, methods, and data openly to the entire scientific community. Founded by MIT, Harvard, Harvard-affiliated hospitals, and the visionary Los Angeles philanthropists Eli and Edythe L. Broad, the Broad Institute includes faculty, professional staff, and students from throughout the MIT and Harvard biomedical research communities and beyond, with collaborations spanning over a hundred private and public institutions in more than 40 countries worldwide. For further information about the Broad Institute, http://www.broadinstitute.org. In support of CARB-X, the Broad Institute created the Collaborative Hub for Early Antibiotic Discovery (CHEAD), which serves an interdisciplinary center that partners with academic investigators engaged in antibiotic development and/or resistance research to accelerate their early-stage, small molecule therapeutics toward Investigational New Drug (IND) application.
MassBio is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1985 that represents and provides services and support for the world’s leading life sciences supercluster. MassBio is committed to advancing Massachusetts’ leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system and improve patient lives. Representing 1000+ biotechnology companies, academic institutions, disease foundations and other organizations involved in life sciences and healthcare, MassBio leverages its unparalleled network of innovative companies and industry thought leaders to advance policy and promote education, while providing member programs, events, industry information, and services. Learn more at MassBio
The mission of the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) is to maintain California’s leadership in life sciences innovation through support of entrepreneurship, education and career development. Located in the birthplace of biotechnology, CLSI strives to ensure that the economic and intellectual power of the region’s life sciences industry and its employees remains strong. By maintaining its focus on entrepreneurship, education and career development programs, CLSI supports the foundations of innovation that have made California home to the world’s most prominent life sciences ecosystem. As a non-profit 501(c)(3), CLSI’s objectives are met through collaborations, partnerships, and the generosity of individuals, sponsors and foundations. CLSI is a member of the CARB-X consortium, serving as an accelerator. Learn more at http://califesciencesinstitute.org.
RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. Clients rely on us to answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach – one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development. We believe in the promise of science, and we are inspired every day to deliver on that promise for the good of people, communities, and businesses around the world. For more information, visit www.rti.org.