24.05.2013 - GSK has entered into a public-private partnership with the federal US agency BARDA to develop new antibiotics and drugs against potential bioweapons.
The first-ever public-private partnership of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) with a pharma company could be worth up to US$200m if the collaboration proves effective after 18 months. The two partners will jointly develop anti-infectives to treat infections with bugs that have become a medical threat due to their resistance to common antibiotics. Additionally, the collaboration aims at developing drugs against pathogens that could become a civil threat due to their potential use as a bioweapon. Both topics are priorities of the National Health Security Strategy as well as the BARDA’s 2011-2016 working plan.
The initial funding for the Public-Private Partnership of US$40m for the first 18 months will give GSK the possibility to further develop promising candidates from its antibiotics portfolio with a lowered investment risk for the drugmaker. While return-on-investment in the antibiotics space has become low, most large drug-makers have focused on more lucrative and financially less risky disease areas. David Payne, head of GSK's antibacterial discovery unit, said public-private partnerships, like the one with BARDA, were a key part to solving the problem.
GSK is already involved in the Innovative Medicine’s Initiative’s programme against antibiotic resistance. But while the IMI programme is focused on bringing Phase III drugs to the market and to find strategies against Gram-negative bacteria, the compounds covered by the BARDA deal are still in early safety testing.
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