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Partnership targets antibiotic resistance

by Michael McCoy
August 1, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 31

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the U.K.’s AMR Centre, the Wellcome Trust, and others have formed what they say is one of the world’s largest public-private partnerships focused on antibiotic resistance. The effort hopes to take new antibiotics, diagnostics, and vaccines through early preclinical development and then hand them off to public or private groups. Called the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, or CARB-X, the partnership grew out of President Barack Obama’s 2015 antibiotic resistance initiative. It will get $30 million in first-year funding from HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority and up to $250 million over five years. The AMR Centre, a U.K. public-private antibiotics initiative formed earlier this year, will provide $14 million in the first year and up to $100 million over five years. The Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard will work with academic researchers in a new early drug discovery hub. Key CARB-X executives include John Rex, an AstraZeneca senior vice president, and Barry Eisenstein, formerly of the antibiotic specialist of Cubist Pharmaceuticals and now with Merck & Co.

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