CARB-X awards $17.6 million to fund new antibiotic development
CARB-X, the international public-private initiative to stimulate new antimicrobial development, today announced the winners of its second round of funding.
The seven projects to receive funding from CARB-X (the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) include five potential new class antibiotics for gram-negative bacteria, a potential new treatment for drug-resistant gonorrhea, and a new molecule targeting a superbug that causes infections in cystic fibrosis patients. The companies will share $17.6 million to speed pre-clinical development of their products. The money will also fund a phase 1 clinical trial of a new oral broad-spectrum antibiotic.
Two of the companies are based in the United States. The others are in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, and India.
"We are looking to support the best potential new treatments and diagnostics across the world," CARB-X Executive Director Kevin Outterson, JD, said in a press release. "We are especially pleased that today's awards mean we are now supporting scientists in six countries."
CARB-X is funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation based in London, with additional support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). It's the world's largest public-private partnership devoted to preclinical antibacterial research and development.
In its first round of funding, announced Mar 30, CARB-X awarded $24 million to 11 biotech companies. The initiative has pledged to commit $450 million over 5 years to spur new antibiotic research and development.
Jul 25 CARB-X press release
Global study notes higher improper prescribing with antibacterials
An analysis published late last week involving prescribing data from 53 countries found higher rates of improper antibacterial prescribing compared with antifungal prescribing.
Writing in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Belgian scientists reported data on 48,565 prescriptions (43,513 [90%] for antibacterials and 2,062 [4%] for antifungals for systemic use) given to 34,731 patients in early 2015. The reasons for prescribing (77.7% vs 71.8%) and stop/review dates (38.3% vs 31.9%) were found more often in notes for antibacterials than for antifungals.
The team found that antibacterials were prescribed according to local guidance only 57.0% of the time, compared with 71.0% for antifungals.
The authors conclude, "All of the quality indicators in this study can be used to improve the quality of antimicrobial prescribing. For example, the proportion of the oral mode of administration can be increased among antibacterials with excellent bioavailability since oral therapy is easy to give and cheaper than intravenous therapy. . . . Another example is issuing antimicrobials by the pharmacist only if the reason for the prescription is documented in the patient's notes."
Jul 21 J Antimicrob Chemother study