Germany joins CARB-X partnership in the fight against deadly drug-resistant superbugs

Germany joins CARB-X partnership in the fight against deadly drug-resistant superbugs

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) commits €40 million to boost the development of new antibiotics, vaccines, and diagnostics

(BERLIN, Germany: March 14, 2019) – CARB-X announced today it has signed a partnership agreement with Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to invest €39 million over four years in the early development of antibiotics, vaccines, and diagnostics to combat drug-resistant bacteria. Under the agreement, BMBF will also provide an additional €1 million in direct support to a consortium of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), the Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines (PEI) and the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM), which is joining the CARB-X Global Accelerator Network, a network of 10 accelerators around the world to support CARB-X funded projects. CARB-X is a global non-profit partnership housed at Boston University.

Germany joins CARB-X funders and global leaders in the fight against superbugs: the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the US Department of Health and Human Services‘ Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Wellcome Trust, a global charity based in the UK working to improve health globally, the UK Government’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (UK GAMRIF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and with in-kind support, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

New antibacterial products are urgently needed. Drug-resistant infections kill an estimated 700,000 people worldwide each year, including an estimated 33,000 in Europe and 23,000 in the United States. If drug resistance continues to grow at current rates, deaths are expected to rise significantly within a generation.

Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X, said: “We are deeply grateful and honored that the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is joining the CARB-X partnership, building on outstanding leadership from the US Government (BARDA and NIAID), the Wellcome Trust, the UK Government (GAMRIF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Drug resistance is one of the most urgent public-health and health-security threats facing the world today. We need political and scientific leadership, vision and sustained effort to win the race against superbugs.” Outterson made the announcement while attending the 12th Berlin Conference on Life Sciences – Novel Antimicrobials and AMR Diagnostics 2019.

German Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek said: “The growing number of pathogens being no longer responsive to lifesaving therapies puts the life of millions of people worldwide at risk. Resistant pathogens spread globally. Thus, combatting them takes joint international collaborative actions, such as CARB-X. This is why the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research will support CARB-X with up to €40 million. The investment in CARB-X is part of an overall €500 million R&D budget Germany will contribute in the next 10 years to the fight against antimicrobial resistance. I am particularly glad that CARB-X has chosen Germany to host a new CARB-X Accelerator, extending the worldwide network of already existing CARB-X Global Accelerators.”

Dr. Tim Jinks, Head of Wellcome’s drug resistant infections programme, said: “Developing new antibiotics, diagnostics and vaccines to tackle the rising threat of drug-resistant superbugs is critical, and support for innovators has not been sufficient to deliver an adequate pipeline of much-needed tools. Germany has stepped up to play a leading role in global health and it is encouraging to see their strengthened commitment to tackling the threat of superbugs through the new funding for CARB-X. We at Wellcome look forward to working with the German government to continue to support the companies who are bringing some much needed innovation to this urgent health challenge.”

“At BARDA, we know the strength and success that can be achieved through public-private partnerships, and we are delighted to welcome our new partners and accelerator in Germany,” BARDA Director Rick Bright, PH.D., said. “Together, we can drive the innovation that is so urgently needed to save lives. We encourage other countries and funders to join CARB-X to advance the critical medicines and products to protect global health and improve health security.”

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England said: “Drug-resistant infections claim the lives of hundreds of thousands of people globally – a collaborative, international response is required if the problem is to be tackled. By working across borders, the CARB-X partnership allows for innovative research and development to address this complex and global issue. I am delighted the German government has joined the partnership, supporting an exciting range of projects developing antibiotics, vaccines and diagnostics to combat drug-resistant infections.”

“We’re excited to welcome the German government to CARB-X as an investor in new vaccines and other tools to prevent drug-resistant infections particularly among the world’s most vulnerable populations. Global partnerships, like CARB-X and the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development Hub, are necessary to foster the commitment and coordination that are needed to accelerate the pace of science and innovation to combat antimicrobial resistance.” Padmini Srikantiah, Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy Lead at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Under the agreement, BMBF supports the full scope of CARB-X’s mission to support research and development projects of companies and scientific institutions worldwide to combat antibiotic resistance. BMBF will sit on CARB-X’s governing board, the Joint Oversight Committee, which establishes funding strategies and makes investment decisions based on recommendations from the CARB-X Advisory Board.

The partnership agreement is effective January 1, 2019. Germany’s decision to invest millions in antibacterial research through CARB-X was first highlighted last fall by Minister Karliczek in her opening address at the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting in Berlin, a global conference on strengthening global health through international cooperation. The partnership agreement with CARB-X was finalized earlier this month.

Partnering to drive antibacterial innovation globally
With the BMBF partnership, CARB-X now has up to €480 million (US$550 million) to help accelerate antibacterial innovation around the world. Launched in 2016, CARB-X funds and supports the world’s largest, most diverse and rapidly growing portfolio of products under development to address serious life-threatening drug resistant bacteria. There are currently 35 projects in the portfolio in 6 countries. Since it was established in 2016, CARB-X has announced awards exceeding US$110.8 million, plus additional funds 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 others fail for a variety of reasons. In total since it was established, CARB-X has announced awards for 42 research projects.

The goal of CARB-X investments in early development research projects is to support projects through the early phases of development and through Phase 1, so that they will attract additional private or public support for further clinical development and approval for use in patients. The scope of CARB-X funding is restricted to projects that target drug-resistant bacteria highlighted on the 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.

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 Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, Wellcome Trust, or other CARB-X funders.

Media Contacts:

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About CARB-X
Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) is a global partnership dedicated to accelerating early development antibacterial R&D to address the rising global threat of drug-resistant bacteria. CARB-X is investing more than $500 million from 2016-2021 to support the development of innovative antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines, rapid diagnostics and devices. CARB-X focuses exclusively on high priority drug-resistant bacteria, especially Gram-negatives. CARB-X has built the world’s largest and most innovative pipeline of preclinical products against drug-resistant infections. CARB-X is funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the US Department of Health and Human Services‘ Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Wellcome Trust, a global charity based in the UK working to improve health globally, the UK Government’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (UK GAMRIF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with in-kind support from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). CARB-X headquarters are located at Boston University School of Law. Follow us on Twitter @CARB_X.

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.

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. Wellcome is funding CARB-X with up to $155m between 2016-2021 as part of its Drug-resistant Infection priority programme as well as providing accelerator support to companies in the portfolio. 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 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 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

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 visit, or contact Jeremy Thompson at