Erin Duffy to lead the growth and oversight of CARB-X’s portfolio of antibiotics, diagnostics, vaccines and other life-saving products addressing antibacterial resistance on a global level
(Boston, MA) – CARB-X, a global partnership led by Boston University, today announced the appointment of Erin Duffy, PhD, as Chief of Research and Development (R&D). Dr. Duffy will be responsible for the delivery of CARB-X’s global portfolio objectives through her leadership of the R&D alliance teams and the management and governance of CARB-X’s portfolio and funding cycles. Dr. Duffy will join CARB-X’s senior executive team and also sit on CARB-X’s governing body, the Joint Oversight Committee (JOC).
“We are very pleased to welcome Erin to our senior executive team as we continue to build our portfolio of innovative early development antibacterial products. We are at a pivotal moment in the growth of our organization, strengthening our scientific depth while we increase the size and diversity of the world’s largest portfolio of early stage antibacterial products,” said Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X and Professor of Law at Boston University. “Erin’s extensive antibiotic R&D experience, combined with her background in corporate leadership, will help CARB-X fulfill its mission to accelerate highly innovative antibacterial products to protect human health.”
“The world urgently needs new products to address the spread of drug-resistant bacteria, which kills an estimated 700,000 people around the world each year,” said Dr. Duffy. “I welcome this challenge to help CARB-X select and support the development of new products that have the potential to save lives and deliver solutions to this global health crisis.”
Strengthening CARB-X leadership
In this new position, Dr. Duffy will take over these responsibilities from Karen Gallant, PhD, who has led the design and growth of the portfolio and played a central role in shaping CARB-X’s operations since it was established in 2016. Dr. Gallant will assume a new leadership role, Deputy Executive Director of CARB-X, with broad responsibility for the design of the portfolio strategy, engagement with other stakeholders in the AMR field plus assuming more of the leadership of CARB-X internally and with funders. Dr. Gallant will retain her seat on the CARB-X Joint Oversight Committee.
Dr. Duffy is an accomplished life sciences executive with more than 17 years of drug-discovery and leadership experience in the antibiotic arena. She joined Rib-X Pharmaceuticals (now Melinta Therapeutics) as it was launching in New Haven, Connecticut. In increasingly senior roles, she helped build a team of researchers focused on next-generation and novel antibiotics that target the ribosome. Among her team’s recent achievements was the de novo design and optimization of a completely new class of antibiotics, the pyrrolocytosines, supported by CARB-X. When Melinta ceased research operations in March 2019, she left the company as the EVP, Chief Scientific Officer and site head of the New Haven research site. Prior to Melinta, Dr. Duffy was the Associate Director of Innovative Discovery Technologies at Achillion Pharmaceuticals. She began her career at Pfizer Central Research, in Groton, Connecticut, where she was a computational and structural drug designer in multiple therapeutic areas. Dr. Duffy earned her PhD and was trained at Yale University.
Driving innovation to address the growing global superbug crisis
The CARB-X portfolio is the world’s largest antibacterial development portfolio. It currently has 30 active projects in five countries, and is on track to grow significantly this year. Since its launch in 2016, CARB-X has announced 47 awards to product developers exceeding $137.2 million, with the potential of additional funding if project milestones are met, to accelerate the development of antibacterial products. These funds are in addition to investments made by the companies themselves. The CARB-X pipeline will continuously evolve, as projects progress and graduate from CARB-X and others fail for a variety of reasons.
CARB-X is investing more than $500 million in antibacterial R&D between 2016-2021. The goal is to support projects in 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 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 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.
CARB-X is led by Boston University and 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 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 (UK GAMRIF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and with in-kind support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). CARB-X is headquartered at the Boston University School of Law.
This news release 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 Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, other funders, or CARB-X.
CARB-X is a global non-profit partnership led by Boston University and 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 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, 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. https://carb-x.org/. Follow us on Twitter @CARB_X.