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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

BARDA launches partnership to address antimicrobial resistance

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) announced a collaborative effort on Thursday to establish the “Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (CARB) Biopharmaceutical Accelerator” to help fight against antimicrobial resistance.

The collaboration involves the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and began with a funding opportunity announcement. The program represents a novel public-private partnership that will support research and development to accelerate candidate products, including drugs, vaccines and diagnostics, into clinical development.

Penicillin-resistant bacteria were first identified in 1947, four years after production of the penicillin began. Infections with bacteria that are resistant to existing antibiotics kill 23,000 Americans per year and cost of U.S. healthcare system an estimated $2 billion annually.

Observers have warned that the current pipeline of candidate antimicrobial products is insufficient to counter the threat of antimicrobial resistance, especially compared to other drug classes. Currently, there are only 28 antibiotics in Phase II/III clinical development compared to more than 500 candidates in Phase II/III for oncological purposes. The collaboration will seek to close that gap in research shortfall.

The accelerator will focus on funding development of antimicrobial products to further enhance the product pipeline, offering a suite of capabilities to rapidly shuttle a successful product candidates through early development, providing businesses and drug development guidance, and decreasing the risks and barriers that impact further research and development investment by pharmaceutical companies.