Antibiotic Resistance – Opportunities for life sciences companies to provide solutions to this public health concern

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a top threat to the public’s health and remains a worldwide priority. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that resistance to antibiotics and other types of antimicrobials represents the greatest challenge in infectious diseases today. Life sciences professionals have stressed the need for AMR to be made a priority for drug developers. At BARDA’s Industry Day 2022, health leaders discussed the major risks associated with AMR, including the possibility for new pandemics. BARDA’s support of new antibiotic development is an integral step in addressing the rising rates of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and navigating inherent challenges in developing new drugs in accordance with judicious antibiotic stewardship. Drug developers have a critical role to play in developing the next generation of antibiotics and mitigating the effects of antibiotic resistance. Resources and opportunities from BARDA can accelerate the development of new antibiotics. BARDA provides nondilutive funding and technical expertise to life science companies with promising antibiotic candidates.

BARDA is a key stakeholder in the federal government’s National Action Plan for Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB), 2020-2025. BARDA’s efforts to address AMR include integrated programs supporting end-to-end development of products through licensure by investing in three areas: early-stage development, late-stage development, and procurement.  

  • Early-Stage Development: Co-funded by BARDA, the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) global partnership supports early-stage development to address the threat of AMR and revitalize the antibiotic pipeline. During BID2022, CARB-X announced the U.S. government’s commitment to continue CARB-X funding for another 10 years and introduce new 2023 funding rounds. CARB-X also supports antibiotic stewardship and partnered with Wellcome Trust to assist product developers with the facilitation of broader access to innovative antimicrobials while fostering stewardship. 
  • Late-Stage Development: BARDA’s Antimicrobials branch provides non-dilutive funding and technical expertise to pharmaceutical companies supporting late-stage development of antimicrobials and products that target multi-drug resistant pathogens and bioterrorism infections. During BID 2022, this group announced recent updates to the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) and is seeking partnerships to develop broad-spectrum, next-generation antifungal drugs. Their goal is to treat high-priority fungal infections following a public health emergency, with an initial focus on therapeutics.
  • Procurement: The third investment area is Project BioShield which supports post-licensure research and development as well as procurement.

For detailed insight into BARDA’s ongoing efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance and updates on additional fiscal year priorities, BDO’s Biodefense Team invites you to join our upcoming webinar BARDA’s FY2023 Priorities: Preparedness for the Next Pandemic Threat on February 14, 2023 from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST. Led by BDO directors Adey Pierce, Matt Sigmund and Dr. Travis Taylor, the webinar will highlight key takeaways from BARDA Industry Day 2022. We will speak with Dr. Christopher Houchens, BARDA CBRN Director, on BARDA’s strategy and discuss updates to FY23 priorities. We will also review new initiatives to support pandemic preparedness and provide potential partners with best practices when positioning themselves for partnership opportunities. Register for this informative, CPE-qualified webinar here. Space is limited to 300 attendees.