Government of Canada to join CARB-X partnership

Government of Canada to join CARB-X partnership

$6.3 million committed in support of global and Canadian antibacterial innovation

(BOSTON: August 3, 2023) – In advance of the G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting in Nagasaki, the Government of Canada announced its commitment to become the newest funder of the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X). The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) plans to award $6.3 million to CARB-X over the next two years, with the objectives of advancing the development of new projects aimed at preventing, diagnosing and treating the most dangerous drug-resistant infections, and supporting a stronger antibacterial R&D ecosystem in Canada.

“The Government of Canada recognizes the urgent need to take increased and expedited action to combat drug-resistant infections,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, former Minister of Health and current Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Government of Canada. “Through this commitment to CARB-X, we will support much-needed global innovation by strengthening the discovery and development of new antimicrobial drugs needed to ensure patients around the world can continue to rely on these life-saving medicines. We also aim to help Canadian research groups and industry in their research and development efforts for therapeutic and diagnostic solutions to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR).”

The US, German and UK governments, Wellcome and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are eager to welcome the Canadian government to support CARB-X efforts that address the global health threat of drug-resistant infections. AMR has wide-spread health and socio-economic impacts. In 2019, AMR infections are estimated to have caused 1.27 million deaths around the world, more than HIV/AIDS or malaria in the same year. In 2018, it is estimated that AMR infections in Canada alone cost the healthcare system $1.4 billion and caused 5,400 deaths.

“We are deeply grateful that the Government of Canada has committed to join our partnership,” said Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Law at Boston University. “As drug-resistant infections cross borders, global collaboration is crucial to develop innovative tools to address AMR. We look forward to working with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian research groups and industry to strengthen our portfolio and research activities, so we can bring life-saving products to patients.”

When CARB-X was founded in 2016, the early-stage antibiotic pipeline was stalled. Since then, CARB-X has supported 92 R&D projects in 12 countries, and CARB-X product developers have made tremendous progress: 18 projects have advanced into or completed clinical trials; 12 remain active in clinical development, including late-stage clinical trials; and two diagnostic products have reached the market. Additionally, at least 9 product developers with active R&D projects have already secured advanced development partnerships which can help support their clinical development after leaving the CARB-X portfolio.

“The Canadian Antimicrobial Innovation Coalition (CAIC) applauds the Government of Canada’s commitment to CARB-X,” said Sameeh M. Salama, PhD, Board Chair of the Canadian Antimicrobial Innovation Coalition. “Canada’s support for CARB-X provides an opportunity for Canadian experts and small biotech companies to participate in the global fight against AMR. Alongside domestic R&D programs, CARB-X provides a set of tools that can accelerate local R&D and commercialization to prevent, diagnose, and treat AMR, both in Canada and around the world.”

Beyond providing funding, CARB-X supports product developers through its in-house R&D team and global subject matter experts. They offer essential scientific, technical, and business support to help CARB-X product developers advance their projects through clinical development, accelerating them more quickly to patients.

“I praise the decision of the Canadian government to join and support CARB-X. AMR is an urgent public health problem which knows no borders and, as such, requires global solutions,” said Gerry Wright, PhD, Director of the Michel G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and Professor of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University. “A stronger relationship with CARB-X will surely benefit and strengthen the Canadian AMR innovation ecosystem. Canada has a lot more to offer to the global R&D efforts to address AMR, and this grant will help untap this potential.”

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), the UK Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF) funded by the UK Government Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), 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,

About CARB-X
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. | Twitter @CARB_X

The U.S. 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. The Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) leads HHS in preparing the nation to respond to and recovery from the adverse health effects of emergencies, supporting communities’ ability to withstand adversity, strengthening health and response systems, and enhancing national health security. Within ASPR, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) invests in innovation, advanced research and development, acquisition, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures – vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical products needed to combat health security threats. As part of HHS, NIH is the primary U.S. 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
Wellcome supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. We support discovery research into life, health and wellbeing, and we’re taking on three worldwide health challenges: mental health, infectious disease and climate and health.

About the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Education and research are crucial foundations for our future. Thus, the promotion of education, science and research is a policy priority of the German Federal Government. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) strengthens education at all stages of life and provides support for scientific research and innovation.

About the Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF)
The Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF) is a One Health UK aid fund that supports research and development around the world to reduce the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in humans, animals and the environment for the benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). GAMRIF core objectives are to develop innovative One Health solutions to tackle AMR; increase availability of context-specific, accessible, and affordable innovations for LMICs; establish international research partnerships with industry, academia, and governments; and collaborate with and leverage additional funding from other global donors.

About the Public Health Agency of Canada
The Public Health Agency of Canada is an agency of the Government of Canada that is responsible for public health, emergency preparedness and response, and infectious and chronic disease control and prevention. Created in 2004 with a mission to promote and protect the health of Canadians through leadership, partnership, innovation and action in public health, the Agency’s activities focus on preventing disease and injuries, responding to public health threats, promoting good physical and mental health, and providing information to support informed decision making. The Agency has a long history of working with domestic and international partners on combatting health threats, including AMR. Most recently, the Agency released the Pan-Canadian Action Plan on AMR, a multijurisdictional effort that emphasizes One Health collaboration to make progress on AMR.

About Boston University
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With nearly 37,000 students, it is the third-largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 schools and colleges and the interdisciplinary Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences, 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 65 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. For further information, please contact Kim Miragliuolo at