CARB-X is funding Evotec to develop a new class of broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections

CARB-X is funding Evotec to develop a new class of broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections

First pharmaceutical R&D company based in Germany in the CARB-X portfolio 

(BOSTON: August 11, 2020) – CARB-X announced today that it is awarding up to US$2.91 million to Evotec SE, a drug discovery and development company headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, to develop a new class of antibiotics to treat infections caused by deadly multidrug-resistant Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Evotec will be eligible for an additional $5.53 million in non-dilutive funding from CARB-X if project milestones are met, subject to available funds.

“Serious hospital-acquired bacterial infections are a global threat, due in part to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria for which we do not have therapies,” said Erin Duffy, R&D Chief of CARB-X, a global non-profit partnership led by Boston University and dedicated to funding and supporting the development of therapeutics, vaccines and rapid diagnostics to address the most serious drug-resistant bacteria. “Evotec’s compounds are the product of a rational drug-design approach and constitute a new antibacterial class which should not be impacted by cross-resistance to current therapies.  If proven clinically, this class would offer treatment where few or no options are available.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec will in-license a promising research program, currently in lead optimization, from the US biotechnology company Resolute Therapeutics, and will continue the pre-clinical development on Evotec’s proprietary drug discovery and development platforms. The goal of the partnership is to develop a novel broad-spectrum antibiotic with both Gram-positive and Gram-negative coverage for indications including complicated urinary tract infections, intra-abdominal infections and hospital-acquired pneumonia.

Dr. Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, said: “We are delighted to license this highly innovative antibacterial program from Resolute. New antibiotics are urgently needed, particularly those that hold significant promise to overcome antimicrobial resistance. The significant support from CARB-X further validates the approach, and we are optimistic to rapidly drive this program to clinical proof of concept and beyond.”

Health-care centers, and particularly intensive care units, can be dangerous breeding grounds for drug-resistant bacteria and for the spread of deadly pathogens. Multidrug-resistant bacteria, including Enterobacteriaceae spp., carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, drug-resistant Candida auris, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are shed by patients and staff and contaminate surfaces for days, increasing the risk of acquisition by other patients, visitors, and hospital staff who come in contact with these surfaces.

Supporting innovation to address the global superbug crisis

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 700,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections, including 35,000 in the US and 33,000 in Europe. Many of these infections are acquired in health-care settings.

The CARB-X portfolio is the world’s largest and most diverse antibacterial R&D portfolio with 45 active projects focused exclusively on drug-resistant bacteria. CARB-X is investing up to $500 million in non-dilutive funding between 2016-2021 to support the early development of new antibiotics and other life-saving products. The goal is to support projects through the early phases of development through Phase 1 so that they will attract additional private or public support for further clinical development and approval for use in patients. CARB-X funds only projects that target drug-resistant bacteria highlighted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Antibiotic Resistant Threats list, or the Priority Bacterial Pathogens list published by the WHO, with a priority on those pathogens deemed Serious or Urgent on the CDC list or Critical or High on the WHO list.

Since its launch in 2016, CARB-X has announced 67 awards to product developers in 10 countries. The awards total $250 million, with the potential of additional funding if project milestones are met. These funds are in addition to investments made by the companies themselves. The CARB-X pipeline will continuously evolve, as projects progress and others stop for a variety of reasons.

This news release is supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number IDSEP160030 from ASPR/BARDA and by award from Wellcome Trust and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the HHS Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, or other CARB-X funders.



Jennifer Robinson

Gabriele Hansen
SVP Corporate Communications, Marketing & Investor Relations
+49 (0) 40.56081-255

About CARB-X
Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) is a global non-profit partnership 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 up to $500 million from 2016-2021 to support innovative antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines, and rapid diagnostics. CARB-X supports the world’s largest and most innovative pipeline of preclinical products against drug-resistant infections. CARB-X is headquartered at Boston University School of Law.  Follow us on Twitter @CARB_X.

About Evotec SE
Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists. We operate worldwide and our more than 3,000 employees provide the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions. We cover all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry’s need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery and development (EVT Execute). The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuronal diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases, fibrosis, rare diseases and women’s health. On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of approximately 100 co-owned product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate). Evotec has established multiple long-term alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB and others. For additional information please go to and follow us on Twitter @Evotec.

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 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