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News Archive

  • 06.14.2019  |  Seeking the Path of Least Resistance

    HARVARD PUBLIC HEALTH MAGAZINE | Rising antibiotic resistance is not just a medical crisis - it’s a scientific, economic and political and moral problem. In this in-depth look at the history of ‘miracle’ antibiotics, and today's challenges related to funding research and delivering new antibacterial products to patients, Harvard Public Health Editor Madeline Drexler looks at potential solutions that could help society win the battle against drug-resistant bacteria. Solving the problem will mean pulling on biology, economics, politics, culture, psychology, and moral choices. But the big question is - will we rise to the challenge before it’s too late?

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  • 06.13.2019  |  Inside CARB-X, the Boston Fund on the Front Lines Fighting Antibiotic Resistance

    BOSTINNO | Occupying unassuming offices at Boston University, CARB-X is the global leader in the business of accelerating antibacterial R&D. So far, CARB-X has awarded more than $100 million to support the development of products that are urgently needed in the fight against drug resistance. If it weren’t for CARB-X some of these projects might be abandoned for lack of support. Still, CARB-X is not a cure-all. If society wants new antibiotics, we will have to find new ways to pay for them. CARB-X Executive Director Kevin Outterson says that greater incentives are needed to drive innovation, which could include incentives that would reward products that are approved for use in patients. The private industry economic model for antibacterials is badly broken, and while CARB-X is a vital and essential part of the solution, it alone cannot fix the problem

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  • 05.28.2019  |  The Radical Plan to Change How Antibiotics Get Developed

    WIRED | Maryn McKenna writes that it may be time to stop asking pharma to make antibiotics, and instead, create some other entity - a government institute, an international nonprofit, or an organization like a utility - to perform the task of discovering and developing new antibiotics to treat drug-resistant infections. The traditional structure of the pharma business, which works so well to bring forth cancer and cardiovascular drugs, simply cannot profitably produce the new antibiotics that society needs so urgently. But how do you safeguard the innovative ‘private sector’ culture that is required to produce innovation and new drugs? We need to re-invent the economic model.

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  • 05.18.2019  |  ‘Post-antibiotics’ world is here, experts say

    MODERN HEALTHCARE | In reaction to the new United Nations report  on drug resistance, this article interviews Dr. Helen Boucher, Kath Talkington and others on the economics of antibiotics. Despite progress made by organizations like CARB-X to stimulate innovation, different incentives are needed to get products onto the market.

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  • 05.15.2019  |  Poor Economic Incentives Are Leaving Doctors Without Antibiotics

    NEWSWEEK | Medical researchers have known for decades that the pipeline for new antibiotics would one day run dry. That day has arrived. In some cases, doctors have no drugs to give their patients for infections that once were treatable but now are life-threatening. Although researchers have many good leads, the bigger problem is a lack of financial incentives to bring new treatments to market. Dr. Helen Boucher of Tufts Medical Center in Boston discusses some solutions to the rising crisis of drug resistant bacteria, including how organizations like CARB-X are supporting drug development. But more is needed, she explains.

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  • 05.10.2019  |  Building New Models To Support The Ailing Antibiotics Market

    FORBES | BARDA’s Director Dr. Rick Bright argues that despite the best efforts and success of organizations like BARDA and CARB-X, we need to more to stimulate innovation that will address the rising drug resistance crisis. BARDA simply cannot continue to provide non-dilutive investment, only to have companies like Achaogen collapse and their newly minted antibiotics shelved or lost completely. BARDA is ready to lead and work with others to find solutions.

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  • 05.07.2019  |  Our antibiotics are becoming useless: UN report

    VOX | By 2050, 10 million people could die each year from diseases that have grown resistant to drugs, according to a new UN report, the latest of many severe warnings issued about the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. To solve this issue, we need to stop treating antibiotics as if they’re any other product on the free market, where value is determined by the number of units sold. Instead, we should think of antibiotics as public goods that are crucial to a functioning society — like infrastructure or national security. And the government should fund their research and development. But is the public informed enough about this issue to pressure politicians into doing the right thing? How many more people will have to die from infections caused by drug-resistant pathogens before politicians act?

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  • 05.03.2019  |  Antibiotics aren’t profitable enough for Big Pharma to make more

    BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK | Public health experts are calling on governments and world leaders to set up new incentives to reward companies for bringing drugs to market that are effective against drug-resistant bacteria. The recent bankruptcy of Achaogen is the latest example of an economic model that needs to be fixed. Private industry cannot be counted on for solutions to the growing global drug-resistance crisis. New incentives are urgently needed.

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  • 04.30.2019  |  Antibiotic Resistance: the small Indian biotech hoping to solve a big problem

    TELEGRAPH | The antibiotics market is broken, and while some progress is being made supporting innovation through organizations like CARB-X, governments and world leaders need to step up with greater incentives and market rewards. In the meantime, small biotechs like the Indian start-up Bugworks have been driving innovation. With the support of CARB-X, Bugworks is developing a novel broad-spectrum antibiotic to kill multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria – a drug that has the potential to treat serious urinary tract infections. Bugworks founder Anand Anandkumar is hoping that governments will put in place incentives to ensure that companies like can continue to develop antibiotics and other life-saving products needed to address the superbug crisis. CARB-X supports development to phase one, Anandkumar says, but support to take it through clinical trials and onto the market is urgently needed.

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  • 04.25.2019  |  The Antibiotics Business is Broken But There’s a Fix

    WIRED | The world is running out of useful antibiotics because the rise of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is undermining their effectiveness. Big pharma is not inclined to invest in discovering and developing more and better antibiotics and small companies are struggling to survive, even if they manage to get a new product approved for use in patients. Maryn McKenna is an Ideas contributor for WIRED and a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. In this article, she looks at what governments and world leaders should be doing to fix the broken business of antibiotics and to make sure we get the innovative antibiotics and other life-saving products urgently needed in the race against drug-resistance.

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  • 04.17.2019  |  Achaogen bankruptcy raises worry over antibiotic pipeline

    CIDRAP | Biopharmaceutical company Achaogen announced that it is filing for bankruptcy, a loss that antibiotic development advocates say is evidence of the need for new incentives and payment models for a broken antibiotic market. The bankruptcy comes despite financial support from government and funding organizations like CARB-X, and despite the fact the company has a product on the market. It is evidence that more incentives are needed, in particular push incentives that will provide greater rewards for products that are approved for use in patients, advocates say.

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  • 04.10.2019  |  The Antibiotics Market is Broken and Won’t Fix Itself

    THE HILL | Private-sector investment in antibiotics has been falling for decades and there is no sign that trend will change. We have made important steps in the right direction, with funding organizations like CARB-X, to support innovation to address the rise of drug resistance. But we have not done enough. We need to fundamentally change the way the market for new antibiotics works. In an opinion piece that echoes a recent letter from antibacterial research leaders, the Pew Charitable Trust’s Alan Coukell and Tufts University’s Dr. Helen Boucher call on the US Congress to take action to establish “pull incentives” to help fix the problem. Pull incentives would make it more attractive for companies to invest in antibacterials to fight superbugs. Ensuring that the US has effective antibiotics is not a luxury - it is a necessity for protecting medical advances, preventing the spread of resistant pathogens, and saving lives.

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  • 03.19.2019  |  AMR Conference in Berlin: Call for better incentives

    EUROPEAN BIOTECHNOLOGY | “We need the political willingness to put money on the table”, said Peter Beyer, Senior Advisor at the World Health Organisation at the “Novel Antimicrobials and AMR Diagnostics 2019” conference in Berlin, which attracted around 330 stakeholders from small and large pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, major global funding initiatives and financiers such as CARB-XFINDJPIAMRGARDPENABLE or Novo’s REPAIR impact fund etc., and from applied sciences and national hubs. At the conference, it was announced that the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research was joining the CARB-X partnership, committing 39 million euros to CARB-X.

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  • 03.14.2019  |  Germany joins the CARB-X partnership: Invests €39M to incentivise the early development of antibiotics, vaccines, and diagnostics to combat AMR

    EUROPEAN BIOTECHNOLOGY | Germany has joined the CARB-X partnership. Under the four-year agreement signed earlier this week with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany will invest €39m to incentivise the early development of antibiotics, vaccines, and diagnostics to combat resistance to antimicrobials (AMR).Germany will provide an additional €1m in direct support to a consortium of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF, Braunschweig), the Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines (PEI, Langen) and the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM, Berlin), which is set to join the CARB-X Global Accelerator Network. The move is part of Germany's overall €500M R&D budget in the next 10 years to fight against antimicrobial resistance.

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  • 03.14.2019  |  Backgrounder: Why CARB-X is building its accelerator network in Europe?

    EUROPEAN BIOTECHNOLOGY | CARB-X has expanded its accelerator network, with a focus on building the network particularly in Europe. CARB-X Executive Director Kevin Outterson explains in this Q&A how CARB-X is building its portfolio of antibacterial products and why it is essential for CARB-X to partner with world-class accelerators to support the great science in the portfolio.

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  • 03.05.2019  |  Can Netflix show Americans how to cut the cost of drugs?

    NEW YORK TIMES | Can American healthcare learn something from Netflix and Hulu, that charge flat subscription fees no matter how many movies you watch. Some countries have negotiated deals with pharmaceutical companies to get all the brand name drugs they can use for several years for a flat fee. In her opinion piece, journalist Tina Rosenberg argues that the United States can learn a lot from economic models that exist in other countries, companies and therapy areas, including in the evolving economic model for antibacterial products to prevent, diagnose and treat drug-resistant infections. Could the emerging push-and-pull-incentive economic model hold some of the answers?

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  • 03.04.2019  |  T2 lands breakthrough devices designation for panel that can detect 13 resistance genes

    MEDICAL DEVICE DAILY | T2 Biosystems has won breakthrough device designation for the T2resistance panel, an exciting new diagnostic under development with the help of CARB-X, which can detect 13 resistance genes from both Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens from a single patient blood sample. The device, if approved and used in clinical setting, could radically improve the diagnosis of life-threatening bacterial infections, speed and improve the delivery of treatment to patients, and save money and precious time. Currently it can take days to provide a reliable diagnosis. The 13 genes identified include those largely resistant to antimicrobial drugs that are crucial in the treatment of bacterial infections, including carbapenems, vancomycin and penicillin.

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  • 03.04.2019  |  Vaccines work – for superbugs too

    MEDICAL PRESS | We need to supercharge the global response to anti-microbial resistance. Developing new vaccines against superbugs would help build the world’s arsenal in the fight against drug resistance. Wellcome Trusts’ Ed Whiting calls for more effort to be directed toward the research and development of new vaccines, and he calls out CARB-X as a way to channel investment into R&D that will produce urgently needed vaccines that could save lives.

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  • 02.26.2019  |  AMR network CARB-X expands its global reach with accelerators to boost support for its growing portfolio

    EUROPEAN BIOTECHNOLOGY | CARB-X has added six new accelerator partners to its Global Accelerator Network to increase support for development research projects it funds to fight the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. The new accelerators located in the US, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, UK and India  join CARB-X’s existing accelerator partners, CLSIMassBio and RTI International in the US and the Wellcome Trust in the UK to provide scientific, technical and business support to the growing numbers of CARB-X-funded antibacterial research projects. The new accelerator partners are BaselArea.SwissBioInnovation Institute (BII)Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP)Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND)German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), and Institute for Life Sciences Entrepreneurship (ILSE)

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  • 02.25.2019  |  Why we need public-private partnerships in drug R&D

    PHARMA BOARDROOM | Pierre Meulien, Executive Director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) in Europe, outlines the value of public-private partnerships in drug research and development and highlights areas where these collaborations are proving their worth in overcoming some of the most challenging threats to our health. 

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  • 02.25.2019  |  Kean University’s ILSE joins the CARB-X accelerator network in fight against drug resistant superbugs

    KEAN UNIVERSITY | ILSE joins the CARB-X Global Accelerator Network, building on New Jersey’s history of entrepreneurship and innovation, which includes the discovery of the antibiotic streptomycin in the 1940s.

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  • 02.18.2019  |  Free Resource Against Infections – Novartis contributes to PEW’s SPARK open-science database

    The open-access Shared Platform for Antibiotic Research and Knowledge (SPARK) created by the Pew Charitable Trusts just got a boost from Novartis, which has shared data from its antibiotic research programs. This comes on the heels of biopharmaceutical company Achaogen’s recent commitment to give SPARK data from its own discontinued antibiotic research program.

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  • 02.18.2019  |  Viral, bacterial diagnostics bolster antimicrobial stewardship

    HEALIO Infectious Diseases in Children | Pediatricians and other health professionals need better, faster and cost-effective diagnostic tests to diagnose bacterial and viral infections in children, many health professionals say. Too often antibiotics are prescribed when not needed, contributing to the rise of drug-resistance, and health problems are not addressed adequately or quickly enough because high-quality rapid diagnostics are not available in many clinical settings. Many new diagnostics are in development.

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  • 02.12.2019  |  Antimicrobial resistance: The Ten Commandments – Two Years On – A Response

    MICROBIOLOGIST | Two years after Lord Jim O’Neill led the UK AMR review to its final report, which recommended 10 Commandments to address AMR, the Society for Applied Microbiology takes stock of the achievements, and the challenges that remain. While progress has been made in the fight against the rise of superbugs, more improvements and action are urgently needed. The Microbiologist special report, published in December 2018, includes a chapter on Commandment 8: Establish a Global Innovation Fund for early-stage and non-commercial research, written by Kevin Outterson, CARB-X Executive Director.

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  • 02.05.2019  |  Twenty new drugs in pipeline to fight superbugs

    THE TIMES | There is hope that new antibiotics and other life saving drugs will be delivered to patients in the coming years, according to Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X, in an interview with The Times. There are exciting new scientific approaches and promising new drugs progressing in CARB-X’s global pipeline. 

     

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  • 01.29.2019  |  We can win the war on superbugs but only with the right investment

    THE TELEGRAPH | The UK is showing the world that it is leading by example with its pilot project to reward drug developers that deliver new urgently needed antibiotics to the health system. It is a plan that could help incentivize innovation and complement the work of CARB-X and others to fund and support the development of new AMR products. Now it is time for other countries and world leaders to step up as well to commit to resource this approach fully. It is time to show that there is political will at the highest level to stop the rise of superbugs. A commentary by Wellcome Trust’s Jeremy Knox.

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  • 01.17.2019  |  CARB-X has awarded ContraFect additional funds to support the development of its lysin therapeutics

    GLOBE NEWSWIRE | CARB-X has awarded ContraFect additional funds to support the continued development of its lysin therapeutics program to treat serious invasive infections caused by antibiotic-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa). This is an increase to the original CARB-X award announced in March 2017. The initial award was $1.1 million, with the possibility of $1 million more if certain project milestones were met. Upon achievement of those milestones, CARB-X decided earlier this year to award the previously announced option of $1 million, plus an additional $1.3 million to continue to support the development of the project.

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  • 01.08.2019  |  Forge awarded next stage of product funding from CARB-X for its novel IV/Oral LpxC antibiotic

    PR NEWSWIRE | Forge Therapeutics, Inc. (Forge), a biotechnology company developing novel medicines targeting metalloenzymes has received notice from CARB-X that based on the achievement of technical milestones, CARB-X will proceed with the next stage of product funding for Forge's novel IV/Oral LpxC antibiotic to treat urinary tract infections including MDR infections caused by CRE and ESBL. In March 2017, Forge was one of the first recipients of a cost-sharing award to advance promising antibacterial candidates through the early stages of development. Forge was initially awarded $4.8M over 15 months from CARB-X and as a second stage, will receive up to $4M million in additional support.

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  • 01.02.2019  |  Fight against superbugs is crucial to the the US’s biodefense

    PEW TRUSTS | In this insightful Q&A, Rick Bright, director of the Biomedical and Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), explains why the fight against superbugs is so crucial to not only public health in the US, but also to national security. Drug resistant superbugs complicate wounds, exacerbate casualties associated with natural and manmade emergencies, and can be used as weapons. Bright highlights the steps the US is taking as part of the National Biodefense Strategy to reduce the spread of superbugs domestically and internationally, and to accelerate the development of new drugs, diagnostic tests and vaccines. BARDA is a CARB-X founder and funding partner.

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