CARB-X Expands its Global Accelerator Network
Life sciences organizations from around the world brought together to support the development of antibiotics, rapid diagnostics, vaccines and other life-saving products to combat drug-resistant superbugs.
CARB-X is expanding its Global Accelerator Network, bringing together 10 world-class organizations from six countries (Denmark, Germany, India, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States) into a single global network of expertise to provide scientific, technical and business support to the growing numbers of CARB-X-funded antibacterial research projects. The new accelerators join CARB-X’s existing accelerator partners, CLSI, MassBio and RTI International in the United States and the Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom.
The Network is a one-of-a-kind powerhouse of knowhow in antibacterial drug development, the development of rapid diagnostics, business and regulatory strategy, and other highly specialized areas essential to accelerating CARB-X’s portfolio of funded projects targeting drug-resistant bacteria.
“We are expanding our accelerator network to increase support for the development of new antibiotics, rapid diagnostics, vaccines and other life-saving products that the world so urgently needs to fight the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. Antibacterial product development is challenging, and CARB-X’s portfolio is growing rapidly. This new network will provide a broader range of scientific, technical and business support our innovative projects need to progress and succeed,” said Kevin Outterson, executive director of CARB-X and Boston University law professor.
“Each CARB-X accelerator delivers tremendous knowhow and capabilities in different disciplines and in different parts of the world. As a group, the Global Accelerator Network is an outstanding source of expertise and forceful ally in the global fight against drug-resistant bacteria,” he said. “The Network will offer the full suite of services to help speed the development of new antibacterial products for patients around the world.”
CARB-X’s global reach is growing
CARB-X supports 34 early development antibacterial research projects around the world, and is unique in that it provides both funding and support services for projects. CARB-X aims to increase its portfolio to up to 60 projects this year, including products that would be new classes of antibiotics against Gram-negatives if ultimately approved by the FDA and other regulatory authorities, vaccines and prevention technologies, rapid diagnostics, and other therapeutics.
Accelerators provide support tailored to each CARB-X funded project including access to biospecimens and compound libraries, scientific data interpretation, chemistry review, drug and diagnostics development strategy, business and investor relations support, regulatory, intellectual property and partnering support, and any other type of support the company may need. The new Network significantly expands CARB-X’s global reach, expertise and capabilities:
- Swiss: BaselArea.swiss is the agency for promoting innovation and inward investment for the Basel region, one of the leading life sciences hubs and a major center for antibiotics research. BaselArea.swiss is backed by both public and private partners and supports entrepreneurs and companies in the implementation of their projects. Through its network of decision makers, innovators, researchers and experts, BaselArea.swiss provides access to knowledge and specialist know-how. Since 2017, the agency also manages BaseLaunch, a successful accelerator supporting groundbreaking therapeutics ventures with access to non-dilutive funding, industry access, expert knowledge, and infrastructure. BaselArea.swiss is located in Basel, Switzerland.
- BioInnovation Institute (BII): BioInnovation Institute is an international initiative for research-based innovation and entrepreneurship, embracing every phase of a life-science start-up. BII, located in Copenhagen, Denmark, offers start-ups within medtech, biotech and pharma state-of-the art lab and office facilities, business acceleration programs, start-up business incubation, commercial support, unique funding opportunities and access to high-level mentoring and international networks. BII is an initiative of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, also the sponsor of the REPAIR Impact Fund.
- Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP): C-CAMP is India’s premier Life Science innovation, entrepreneurship and technology hub as well as one of the largest life science incubators in the country. C-CAMP provides, funding, incubation, acceleration and mentorship to start-ups, and has built a vibrant ecosystem to nurture deep science driven enterprises. An initiative of the Indian Government’s Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology and located in Bangalore, C-CAMP has funded, incubated and mentored over 110 start-ups in recent years.
- Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND): FIND is a global non-profit organization that drives innovation in the development and delivery of diagnostics to combat major diseases affecting the world’s poorest populations. Its work bridges R&D to access, overcoming scientific barriers to technology development; generating evidence for regulators and policy-makers; addressing market failures; and enabling accelerated uptake and access to diagnostics in low- and middle-income countries. A WHO Collaborating Centre, FIND works with more than 200 academic, industry, governmental, and civil society partners worldwide, on over 70 active projects that cross six priority disease areas.
- German Center for Infection Research(DZIF): With 35 establishments at 7 sites across Germany, DZIF is specialized in translational infection research with the aim of developing new diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic methods for treating infectious diseases. DZIF actively engages in AMR research and promotes innovative product development through funding, project management and regulatory support.
- Institute for Life Sciences Entrepreneurship (ILSE): A non-profit organization located at Kean University in Union, NJ, USA, ILSE provides incubator space and accelerator services to life science companies and is a science-driven research institute working in partnership with entrepreneurs and major academic, non-profit, and corporate organizations. ILSE’s American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) Center for Translational Microbiology focuses on research in microbiome, advanced microbial genomics, clinical multi-drug resistance, and bioinformatics.
These new members of the Network join CARB-X’s existing accelerators:
- Wellcome Trust: Wellcome Trust is an independent global philanthropy and one of the world’s leading funders of biomedical research, with significant experience and commitment in antibacterial R&D. Wellcome is funding CARB-X with up to US$155 million between 2016-2021, and providing accelerator support to companies in the portfolio. Wellcome’s accelerator team brings a wealth of experience of working with academics, spin-outs and larger companies, and is able to mobilize a large network of advisors and consultants with diverse expertise across many disciplines. With its global portfolio, Wellcome can provide an extensive understanding of working in different settings especially in low- and middle-income countries.
- California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI): CLSI provides a range of business support to CARB-X companies. It is located in South San Francisco, CA, USA, a major biotechnology hub.
- RTI International: RTI International is an independent, non-profit institute based in North Carolina, USA, that provides research, development, and technical services to government and commercial clients worldwide. Our product development teams have expertise in toxicology, pharmacology, chemistry manufacturing and controls (CMC), and regulatory affairs. RTI’s extensive global network of consultants and contract research organization (CRO) partners enables the management of multiple product development programs. RTI staff have more than 100 years of combined pharmaceutical development experience and have filed 12 INDs in the past 4 years, including four for antimicrobial products. RTI currently supports a portfolio of products from discovery through Phase 3.
- Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio): MassBio is a not-for-profit organization that represents and provides services and support for Massachusetts companies in the life sciences sector. MassBio is based in Boston, MA, USA, a leading life sciences and medical research hub.
New antibiotics, rapid diagnostics, vaccines and other products are needed urgently to treat bacteria that are increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 700,000 people die each year worldwide from bacterial infections. In the United States, an estimated 23,000 people die each year from drug-resistant bacterial infections, according to the CDC. In Europe, the number of deaths each year is estimated at 33,000.
Partnership to drive antibacterial innovation globally
CARB-X is a non-profit partnership launched by the US Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Wellcome Trust, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). CARB-X is funded by BARDA, the Wellcome Trust, the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with in-kind support from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). CARB-X headquarters are located at Boston University.
CARB-X is investing up to $500 million in antibacterial R&D between 2016-2021. The goal is to support projects through the early phases of development through Phase 1, so that they will attract additional private or public support for further clinical development and approval for use in patients. The scope of CARB-X funding is restricted to projects that target drug-resistant bacteria highlighted on the CDC’s 2013 Antibiotic Resistant Threats list, or the Priority Bacterial Pathogens list published by the WHO in 2017—with a priority on those pathogens deemed Serious or Urgent on the CDC list or Critical or High on the WHO list.
Since it was established in 2016, CARB-X has announced awards exceeding $107.4 million, plus additional funds if project milestones are met, to accelerate the development of antibiotics, rapid diagnostics and other life-saving antibacterial products. These funds are in addition to investments made by the companies themselves.