More support announced for new antibiotics

Over the last week or so we have seen the WHO’s Global Antibiotic R&D Partnership (GARDP) announce a €56 million fund to fight antibiotic resistance, the EU/industry’s DRIVE-AB recommend four antibiotic development incentive models and the US’s Biomedical Advanced R&D Authority (BARDA) announce $62m support for Phase III trials of a UK biotech’s antibiotic.

GARDP revealed on 4th Sept that €56 million of funding will be made available to help develop new treatments to fight against antibiotic resistance. The funding will support four areas; Sexually transmitted diseases with a focus on gonorrhoea; A REVIVE program to review historic abandoned antibiotic programs; Neonatal Sepsis, drug-resistant infections of which claim >200,000 infants annually will develop new treatments; and Paediatric Antibiotics to develop new antibiotics specifically adapted for children.

DRIVE-AB, an EU and EU industry alliance recommended four antibiotic development incentive models at its congress, 5-6th Sept. These included two ‘Push’ incentives (grants and pipeline coordination) and two ‘Pull’ incentives (market entry rewards and a long term continuity model). Final DRIVE-AB recommendations will be published in a report in January 2018.

On 11th Sept the US government’s BARDA announced the award of a contract worth up to $62 million to conduct the Phase III clinical development of the novel antibiotic ridinilazole for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection. UK biotech Summit plc was the recipient of the award. Such non-dilutive support by BARDA for final stage clinical development of novel antimicrobial drugs addressing unmet need and where there is significant risk to public health is a welcome additional source of funding.