CARB-X’s call for proposals seeks to fill gaps in the global AMR pipeline

The global nonprofit partnership CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) which is focused on supporting antibacterial research, last week opened a call for proposals addressing vital antimicrobial resistance (AMR) challenges.

“For our 2022-23 funding calls, we seek to fill major gaps in the global pipeline,” said Erin Duffy, Ph.D., R&D Chief of CARB-X.

Their call for proposals has three distinct product themes: oral therapeutics, particularly those aimed at respiratory and urinary tract infections caused by Gram-positive bacteria; vaccines for neonatal sepsis; and gonorrhea products.

Applications are being accepted from October 17 and, as noted in the CARB-X application site, “companies have until Oct 31, 2022; Jan 30, 2023; and May 1, 2023, to submit applications for funding.” The same site offers further information for applicants, including a video and webinars.

The University of Minnesota reported that, unlike the past CARB-X calls that have “cast a wide net,” supporting all types of AMR drugs, “the new round of awards represents a slightly different approach” seeking maximum impact by offering funding for proposals that target areas of unmet need, as identified in a Lancet study.

Fully committed to addressing AMR

Since its founding in 2016, CARB-X has been fully committed to addressing the global health threat of AMR.

So far the group has “provided $396M to 92 preclinical candidates to address bacterial infections”—including vaccines, rapid diagnostics, antibiotics, and non-traditional therapeutics and preventatives. The latest round of funding by the Boston University-based public-private partnership is made possible by the commitment of $370 million CARB-X received in May from HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the global charitable foundation Wellcome.

CARB-X also has supported nearly 100 teams of product developers, in 12 countries around the world, who “have made tremendous progress developing prevention products, rapid diagnostics, antibiotics, and non-traditional treatments” to address the global health threat of AMR.

CARB-X support was cited by BIO member Clarametyx in last week’s announcement of FDA acceptance for a Phase 1 Study of Clarametyx’s immune-enabling biologic therapy, designed to enhance the effect of standard antibiotics.

Several initiatives

Per the initiative’s website, ”CARB-X is the only global partnership that integrates solutions for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of life-threatening bacterial infections, translating innovation from basic research to first-in-human clinical trials.

It is one of several initiatives to address the problem of funding AMR drugs—which are most effective if used sparingly—since the market does a poor job in that area. CARB-X has given $396 million in grants since its founding in 2016.

AMR Action Fund, the world’s largest public-private partnership that includes many BIO members to invest in antibiotic development, we previously reported, has also taken on the AMR challenge, seeking to get two to four new antibiotics to patients by 2030.

As Bill Burns, Board Chair of the AMR Action Fund, said at the time, “the AMR Action Fund has focused on identifying investments that will yield urgently needed treatments and catalyze long-term innovation to take on the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which now kills more people annually than HIV/AIDS or malaria.”

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