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Bulletin, Institute

CLSI Hosts First CARB-X Kick-Off Meeting Application Process Now Open

The California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) launched its CARB-X Accelerator program on August 26th, where close to 80 attendees representing over 30 companies came to hear about the program directly from CARB-X leadership and network with others in the antimicrobial field. The Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) is the world’s largest public-private partnership focused on tackling antimicrobial resistance, with the aim of rejuvenating the antimicrobial pipeline over the next 25 years. CLSI is a CARB-X partner and serves as the west coast accelerator, providing non-dilutive funding, business support and subject matter expertise to companies with innovative antibiotic product candidates.

Kick-off attendees heard Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X and John Rex, Chief Strategy Officer of CARB-X, present on the CARB-X origin, mission, partners and funding. During the afternoon session, the partners provided feedback and guidance for prospective applicants based on product modality – small molecule therapeutics, preventatives, diagnostics, immune adjuncts and peptides, among others. While the first year’s focus will be on therapeutics to treat Gram-negative bacteria on the CDC’s Urgent or Serious Threat List, non-traditional approaches are also welcome, with an emphasis on game-changing innovation.

“Feedback was uniformly positive, with company representatives commenting on the valuable discussion and networking throughout the day,” remarked Heather Shane, Executive Director of the CLSI CARB-X accelerator. “It’s exciting to be off to such a swift start: CARB-X initiated on August 1, and the application process was up and running before the end of the month.”

CARB-X grew out of President Obama’s 2015 Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) initiative and will address several goals laid out in the U.S. Federal CARB National Action Plan. Funding is provided through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), within HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). The Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Centre, a public-private initiative, and the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation, both in the UK, will contribute additional funding, bringing aggregate funds to at least $350 million over the five-year program.

CARB-X is currently comprised of four accelerator sites: The Wellcome Trust and the AMR Centre,  MassBio in Cambridge, MA; and CLSI in the San Francisco Bay Area. The accelerator sites will provide world-class business support and mentoring services to innovative product developers selected for CARB-X funding. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, RTI International and the Broad Institute will provide in-kind R&D and operational support.

Successful companies will emerge from CARB-X as graduates with resources, networks and a robust product development strategy to support further clinical development. Refer to the current CARB-X slide deck the events page of the CARB-X website for further information, and for questions, please contact Heather Shane at hshane@califesciences.org.