Leaders look forward to collaborating with the Indian Presidency in 2023
(BOSTON: December 21, 2022) – Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) featured prominently on the G20 agenda during the past two months. In the G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration, the G20 Heads of State and Government reiterated their commitment “to embedding a multisectoral One Health approach and enhancing global surveillance, including genomic surveillance, in order to detect pathogens and AMR that may threaten human health.” The G20 Health Ministers confirmed their support to “initiatives to catalyze AMR research and development” and published a detailed G20 Call to Action on Antimicrobial Resistance.
Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) welcomes the fact that a premier forum for global economic cooperation has prioritized AMR during its deliberations, and commits to respond proactively to the “call for strengthened engagement with the Global AMR R&D Hub, OECD, the Quadripartite and other international antimicrobial research and development organizations whenever possible and relevant, including: CARB-X, the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP), including its SECURE initiative, and the Global Health Security Agenda – Antimicrobial Resistance Action Package (GHSA-AMR).”
“At CARB-X we are aware of the importance of reinforcing our coordination with upstream and downstream partners,” said Erin Duffy, Ph.D., R&D Chief of CARB-X. “With three new funding rounds between 2022 and 2023, it is important that we collaborate with academic and research centers so that we receive strong and innovative applications from all over the world. And with 12 therapeutic and preventative projects in Phase 1 and four diagnostic projects in the Verification and Validation stage since inception, we are actively working to help our portfolio companies identify partners who will support the advanced clinical development of these products, so that they move closer to the patients who need them.”
All product developers who receive CARB-X funding are contractually obligated to develop a Stewardship and Access Plan for their funded products, outlining the strategies they will deploy to ensure responsible stewardship and appropriate access in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Therefore CARB-X supports the G20 objective to “increase equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostic tools (VTDs) and innovative preventive tools” and extend “the production of VTDs within LMICs, while ensuring antimicrobial stewardship and minimizing environmental pollution.”
The G20 Health Ministers also committed to complementing the G7’s research and innovation agenda “by focusing on the development of diagnostic tools that support appropriate use decisions when clinically relevant.” This is a welcome development given that CARB-X supports not only therapeutics and preventatives but also diagnostics. T2 Biosystemsand Specific Diagnostics developed diagnostics with CARB-X support–both received the CE mark, meaning they can be legally commercialized in the European Union.
On December 1, India officially assumed the G20 Presidency for the coming year. CARB-X looks forward to working with the Indian government and other Indian stakeholders to ensure that AMR remains a priority for the G20. The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), India’s premier life science innovation, entrepreneurship and technology hub, is already a member of the CARB-X Global Accelerator Network. An initiative supported by the Indian Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, and located in Bengaluru, C-CAMP provides funding, incubation, acceleration, and mentorship to start-ups, and has built a vibrant ecosystem to nurture deep science-driven enterprises.
“AMR is a global health challenge and a big concern for India. As C-CAMP aims to enable innovative solutions to fight AMR, we are grateful for our partnership with CARB-X,” said Taslimarif Saiyed, Ph.D., CEO and Director of C-CAMP. “With CARB-X support, C-CAMP has raised awareness across India about funding and other professional development opportunities, and has expanded its mentorship capacity for companies developing exceptional and novel products in the antibacterial space.”
CARB-X has already supported three projects from Indian companies in Bangalore and Pune, including Bugworks Research, GangaGen Biotechnologies and Module Innovations.
Bugworks has commenced a first-in-human program with a novel broad-spectrum antibiotic to kill multidrug-resistant bacteria that have been identified by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as critical and high priority infection threats. GangaGen has advanced to the lead-optimization stage with antibacterial proteins called klebicins, which are narrow-spectrum agents targeting multidrug-resistant infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae, including the carbapenem-resistant and ESBL-expressing K. pneumoniae that are of clinical concern. CARB-X also supported feasibility efforts for Module’s diagnostic that detects urinary tract infections.
“Antibiotic developers face unique economic challenges, which make it difficult to leverage classical venture capitalist funding, particularly in early stages,” said Anand Anandkumar, Ph.D., co-Founder and CEO, Bugworks Research. “The CARB-X award was an absolutely essential support for us to continue developing our novel antibacterial program from lead optimization into first-in-human clinical trials. CARB-X’s efforts have created the most robust early-stage antibacterial pipeline in a generation, and Bugworks is proud to be in that line-up.”
In addition to non-dilutive funding, CARB-X provides subject matter expertise to advise projects on an ongoing basis. “This support has been invaluable in conceptualizing different stages of the project,” said Tanjore S. Balganesh, Ph.D., President of GangaGen Biotechnologies. “The CARB-X Support Team’s guidance for specific problem solving, predicting potential project risks and devising mitigation plans has provided timely help in speeding up the progress.”
CARB-X is funded in part with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority; under agreement number: 75A50122C00028. CARB-X is also funded by awards from Wellcome (WT224842), Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of any CARB-X funders.
CARB-X Contact: Robin Berghaus, email@example.com
CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) is a global non-profit partnership dedicated to supporting early-stage antibacterial research and development to address the rising threat of drug-resistant bacteria. CARB-X supports innovative therapeutics, preventatives and rapid diagnostics. CARB-X is led by Boston University and funded by a consortium of governments and foundations. CARB-X funds only projects that target drug-resistant bacteria highlighted on the 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. https://carb-x.org/ | Twitter @CARB_X
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