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Scientists developing promising new antibiotics in India, Ireland, France, Switzerland, the US and UK are to share up to US$17.6m to speed treatments for the world’s deadliest superbugs.


A year since launching, the international partnership CARB-X today announces its second round of antibiotic research and development funding – alongside a call for greater global support.

The seven projects supported include:

  • Five potential new class antibiotics for Gram-negative bacteria
  • Potential new treatment for drug-resistant gonorrhea
  • New molecule targeting a superbug causing serious infections in cystic fibrosis patients
  • Phase 1 clinical trial of a new oral broad-spectrum antibiotic

Drug-resistant infections currently cause around 700,000 deaths worldwide annually – if antibiotic resistance continues at its current rate that could rise significantly within a generation.

Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X and Professor of Law at Boston University said: “Drug-resistant infections are complex and developing new antibiotics challenging, timely and costly. But restoring the R&D pipeline is vital to address the seriously increasing threat of superbugs which have become resistant to existing drugs. This is a global problem and CARB-X is a critical part of the global solution. We are looking to support the best potential new treatments and diagnostics across the world. We are especially pleased that today’s awards mean we are now supporting scientists in six countries. The projects offer exciting potential. But we need greater global support from governments, industry and civil society to get the new treatments the world urgently needs.”

CARB-X – which stands for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator – is a partnership between UK charity Wellcome Trust and 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, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

CARB-X was launched in July 2016 to address the gap in antibiotic research and development and innovations to improve diagnosis and treatment of drug-resistant infections. The G20 has called for global antibiotic R&D efforts like CARB-X to refill the pipeline with safe and effective drugs.