Bulletin, Institute


CLSI Supporting Four of First Eleven “Powered by CARB-X” Companies

What is CARB-X?

Launched in August 2016, CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical accelerator) is one of the world’s largest public-private partnerships devoted to combating anti-microbial resistance. CARB-X is providing capital (up to $450M over 5 years) and strategic business support to companies with promising early-stage technologies to develop a portfolio of innovative products to address this critical threat to global health. The consortium includes the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI), the Wellcome Trust, BARDA, RTI International, NIAID, and MassBio, and is administered by Boston University.

What’s new?

On March 30, CARB-X announced funding of up to $48 million for the first group of 11 companies: $24M up front and potentially an additional $24M as milestones are reached. Four of these eleven companies will work with CLSI for strategic business and operational support.

As a partner in the consortium, CLSI is one of three CARB-X accelerators, along with MassBio in Boston and the Wellcome Trust in the UK. Since CARB-X’s launch in August 2016, CLSI has engaged with over 50 potential CARB-X companies. With the announcement of the first awards, CLSI will tap its extensive advisor network to continue with operational and strategic business advisory services to four companies: Forge Therapeutics, Cidara Therapeutics, Redx Pharma and Proteus IRC.

Meet our companies!

Forge Therapeutics Inc., San Diego, CA

Pioneering chemistry platform for first novel class of ‘superbug’ antibiotics in decades

Awarded $4.8M over 15 months, and potentially up to $4M in the following 18 months

Funded project: to develop novel antibiotics to treat infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria. With its proprietary chemistry approach, Forge develops small molecule inhibitors targeting metalloenzymes. Forge’s lead effort is focused on LpxC, a zinc metalloenzyme found only in Gram-negative bacteria, which is essential for bacteria to grow.

Cidara Therapeutics Inc., San Diego, CA

CloudbreakTM immunotherapy platform and CD201 offer new hope to treat serious multi-drug resistant bacterial infections

Awarded $3.9M over 13 months, and potentially up to $3M in the following 11 months

Funded project: to develop CD201 for the treatment of multi-drug resistant Gram-negative infections. CD201 is a bispecific, small molecule antibiotic possessing a Targeting Moiety that binds a conserved target on Gram-negative bacteria and an Effector Moiety that engages the immune system. CD201 was discovered using Cidara’s proprietary immunotherapy discovery platform called CloudbreakTM, which was designed specifically to create compounds that direct a patient’s immune cells to attack and eliminate bacterial, fungal or viral pathogens.

Redx Pharma Plc., Alderly Park, UK

Novel bacterial inhibitors target multi-drug resistant bacteria and hold potential for the treatment of serious hospital-acquired infections

Awarded $1M over 18 months

Funded project: to develop novel bacterial topoisomerase inhibitors against some of the most difficult-to-treat Gram-negative pathogens. Redx compounds from this series have demonstrated activity against a range of resistant bacterial species and have shown efficacy against a multi-drug resistant strain of A. baumannii in an animal model. With support from CARB-X, Redx aims to rapidly progress these compounds into clinical development with the goal of delivering to patients a new treatment for serious infections such as hospital-acquired pneumonia.

Proteus IRC, Edinburgh, Scotland

New optical imaging technology could allow rapid and accurate diagnosis of bacterial infection in the lungs, and help speed up access to life-saving treatment

Awarded $0.64M over 21 months, and potentially up to $0.48M in the following 20 months

The multidisciplinary Proteus team is developing technology to visualise bacteria and the host response in the deepest parts of human lungs in just 60 seconds, using bacteria-specific Smartprobes and fibre-based imaging. This potentially game-changing optical molecular technology will be used in critical care units, which are the largest consumer of antibiotics and an epicentre of antimicrobial resistance development in hospitals. Used at the bedside of patients who are mechanically ventilated and critically unwell, it will enable precision in diagnosing and prescribing, and has widespread applicability elsewhere in the human body for point-of-care bacterial detection and host-response monitoring.

Read the press release here.

For more information about CARB-X, contact Heather Shane, Executive Director, CLSI CARB-X, or visit CARB-X.