Alderley Park Joins Obama's AMR Crusade

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Alderley Park’s position as a European centre of research into antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been underlined today with the announcement of a new global partnership to tackle the innovation gap in this critical area of medicine.  

The AMR Centre, which set up operations at Alderley Park in February this year, is one of the leading UK organisations addressing the problem of our diminishing supply of effective antibiotics.

Today the AMR Centre announced that it is to provide financial backing and work alongside CARB-X, a newly established global organisation.

CARB-X - the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (www.carb-x.org) – is a public-private partnership that is focused on rejuvenating the pipeline of antibiotics and diagnostics.  It grew out of President Obama’s 2015 Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (CARB) initiative.

The partnership aims to deliver a growing portfolio of promising new antibiotics, diagnostics and vaccines to tackle the threat posed by untreatable bacterial infections.  

CARB-X has been given initial funding commitments of $350 million for five years and will be able to deploy significant resources to address the unique set of scientific and commercial challenges that AMR creates.

The AMR Centre is expected to receive up to $14 million in matched funding from CARB-X in year one - and $100 million in total over the next five years. The combination of its own resources and the contributions from CARB-X means that in the AMR centre expects to be able to focus $200 million on a range of R&D projects. These financial resources will be used to help small and medium sized businesses progress their R&D projects into clinical trials.

Other CARB-X partners include the Biomedical Advanced Research Authority (BARDA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is to provide $30 million in grants to CARB-X during the first year and up to $250 million over five years.

“CARB-X is one of the most important steps yet in terms of rethinking how we deal with AMR, and the partnership will have an impact around the world,” said Dr Peter Jackson, steering group chairman of the AMR Centre at Alderley Park.  “We share the same goal of accelerating a new pipeline of treatments and diagnostics by working on new drug development programs.”

Chris Oglesby, chairman of Manchester Science Partnerships, said: “CARB-X is setting out a bold vision to protect humanity from the most serious bacterial threats by accelerating antibacterial product development.

“Its geographical scope is unlimited and the brief simply to fund the best science for the most innovative products, wherever they may be found. 

“Some of that work will undoubtedly happen here. The North of England has always been a place of innovation and discovery. More than 20 new drugs have been developed at our Alderley Park campus including new antibiotics. Some CARB-X projects will be developed at Alderley Park within the AMR Centre but the funding could also benefit other companies and organisations both inside and outside of our organisation. There is strong capability in terms of people and laboratory resource in our region.

“CARB-X itself has already spoken of collaboration, innovation and urgency as some of its key values. These are principles that we share at MSP - and we wish the new venture every success in delivering on its important objectives.”

CARB-X will be led by executive director and principal investigator Kevin Outterson of Boston University.

The full list of CARB-X partners include:

The CARB-X partners will pool their broad scientific, technical, business and legal expertise to help grantees navigate the maze of regulatory steps, studies and data collection required for new drugs and other products to gain approval by US and/or European regulators.

Beginning in September, CARB-X will start reviewing applications to determine the most promising projects to fund. Decisions will be made by its Scientific Advisory Board, with input from the agencies, including BARDA and NIAID, and the funders. Applicants should check the website (www.carb-x.org) for updates.