GlaxoSmithKline and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), are collaborating to support the development of several antibiotics to fight antibiotic resistance and bioterrorism.
This public-private agreement marks the first time HHS has taken a "portfolio approach" to funding drug development with a private sector company. This collaboration provides flexibility to move funding around GSK's antibacterial portfolio, rather than focusing on just one drug candidate, and allow medicines to be studied for the potential treatment of both conventional and biothreat pathogens.
HHS will provide $40 million for the 18-month agreement and up to $200 million if it is renewed over five years.
The treatment of drug resistant bacterial infections is predicted to become a global crisis due to the scarcity of new antibiotics in the pharmaceutical industry's pipeline and a decrease in investment in R&D. Many companies have withdrawn from antibacterial R&D due to the scientific challenges and a lower return on investment, affecting the ability to treat bacterial infections and compromising preparedness to tackle biothreat pathogens.
"There is an urgent need to address antibiotic resistance and new models are needed to deal with this challenging area of drug development," said David Payne, head of GSK's Antibacterial Discovery Performance Unit. "We strongly believe that innovative public-private partnerships such as this are integral to solving this critical healthcare issue and we are delighted to work with BARDA in a more strategic way."
The work will be governed by a BARDA-GSK joint oversight committee that will monitor progress, make decisions on the allocation of funds and decide on the addition or removal of drug candidates from the portfolio.