News

CARB-X launches new Funding Rounds to support the development of antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostics and other life-saving products that target drug-resistant bacteria

CARB-X launches new Funding Rounds to support the development of antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostics and other life-saving products that target drug-resistant bacteria

(BOSTON, MA, USA) – CARB-X announced today its 2019 rounds of funding to support the development of antibiotics, vaccines, biotherapeutics, diagnostics and other life-saving products to address the rising threat of drug-resistant bacteria. There are four funding rounds representing CARB-X’s most ambitious call for proposals from product developers seeking financial, scientific and business support to accelerate the development of innovative products targeting the most dangerous superbugs.

Each of the four rounds has a specific scope and application period.

  • Non-traditional approaches: Funding Round 1 will be open for Expressions of Interest June 3 – June 10, 2019, 5 PM ET. The scope of Round 1 is restricted to non-traditional approaches – alternatives to antibiotics – including, for example, indirect-acting small molecule therapeutics, direct acting or indirect-acting large molecules, microbiome, phage, nucleic acid/antisense, and drug conjugates
  • Vaccines and biotherapeutics: Funding Round 2 will be open for Expressions of Interest July 8 – July 15, 2019, 5 PM ET. The scope of Round 2 is restricted to vaccines, therapeutic and preventative antibodies/fragments, and other large molecule biotherapeutic approaches
  • Diagnostics: Funding Round 3 will be open for Expressions of Interest August 12 – August 19, 2019, 5 PM ET. The scope of Round 3 is restricted to diagnostics that will rapidly identify either the bacterial species or antibiotic susceptibility, or both.
  • Direct-acting small molecule antibiotics: Funding Round 4 will open for Expressions of Interest November 12 – November 19, 2019, 5 PM ET. The scope of Round 4 is restricted to new classes of antibiotics and/or new targets for therapeutics.

“CARB-X is funding and providing support to researchers worldwide to accelerate the development of life-saving products in the fight against superbugs.  The scope of each funding cycle meets a critical and urgent need to address the rising global threat of drug-resistant bacteria,” said Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X and professor at Boston University School of Law.

“Our goal is to select the best, most innovative projects that have the potential to prevent, diagnose and treat drug-resistant infections that are killing hundreds of thousands of people each year worldwide. We plan to grow the portfolio through these funding rounds and expand the number of different approaches to increase the chances of delivering urgently-needed medicines and diagnostics to patients.”

CARB-X focuses on high priority drug-resistant bacteria, primarily Gram-negatives, and supports projects in early development. For antibiotics, for example, CARB-X supports projects in phases from hit-to-lead through Phase 1. The goal is to support projects through early development phases so that they will attract additional private or public support for clinical development.

The CARB-X portfolio is the world’s largest antibacterial development portfolio with 29 projects in five countries, is expected to increase significantly this year. Since its inception in 2016, CARB-X has announced awards for 42 projects in seven countries exceeding $110 million, with the potential of an additional $106 million if project milestones are met, to accelerate the development of antibacterial products. These funds are in addition to investments made by the companies themselves. In addition to funding, CARB-X provides business and scientific support for projects through the CARB-X Global Accelerator Network, a network of 10 expert organizations around the world. The CARB-X pipeline will continuously evolve, as projects progress and others fail for a variety of reasons.

Past funding rounds have attracted more than 800 applications from around the world. CARB-X funding is restricted to projects that target drug-resistant bacteria highlighted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s 2013 Antibiotic Resistant Threats list, or the Priority Bacterial Pathogens list published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017– with a priority on those pathogens deemed Serious or Urgent on the CDC list or Critical or High on the WHO list.

Highly specific scope and application period for each Funding Round
The scope for each 2019 round is highly specific. Applicants must be a legal entity to apply and, at the time of sub-award contract execution, be in a position to provide at least 20 per cent of the cost of developing the product through the period of performance of the contract, be a going concern or have a clear and viable strategy to achieve and maintain financial sustainability, and must own/have secured rights to the IP and have a reasonable expectation of freedom to operate.  Applications from academic centers/non-commercial developers are welcome with the requirement to be able to demonstrate capabilities similar to those expected of a drug development industry partner. Applicants are must adhere to the highest ethical research standards. Applications are reviewed by teams of experts. Final investment decisions are made by CARB-X’s governing board, comprised primarily of representatives of CARB-X funding partners.

There is an urgent need for new antibiotics and other products to address the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. According to the WHO, an estimated 700,000 people die each year worldwide from bacterial infections. In the United States, the CDC estimates 23,000 people die each year from drug-resistant bacterial infections. In Europe, the number of deaths yearly is estimated at 33,000, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Partnership supporting antibacterial innovation globally
CARB-X is investing up to $550 million in antibacterial R&D between 2016-2021. CARB-X funding is provided by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR); 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 (UK GAMRIF); the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and with in-kind support from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CARB-X is headquartered at Boston University School of Law.

Funding Rounds Webinar: CARB-X is planning a webinar on May 16, 2019, 9 am – 10 am ET to discuss the funding rounds, scope and application process, and answer questions. To register for the webinar, please click here.

For complete details on the scope of the funding rounds and on how to apply, please visit https://carb-x.org/apply/

This news release is supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number IDSEP160030 from ASPR/BARDA and by an award from Wellcome Trust. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Wellcome Trust, or other CARB-X funders.

Media Contact:

Jennifer Robinson
carbxpr@bu.edu
Tel: +1.514.914.8974

 About CARB-X
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 funding is provided by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in the U.S. 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 (UK 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) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A non-profit partnership, CARB-X is investing up to $550 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 focuses exclusively on high priority drug-resistant bacteria, especially Gram-negatives. CARB-X is headquartered at Boston University School of Law. https://carb-x.org/. Follow us on Twitter @CARB_X

About BARDA and NIAID
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 jeremy22@bu.edu.www.bu.edu.