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GEN News Highlights : May 22, 2013

HHS, GSK Hunt for Drugs to Fight Antibiotic Resistance, Bioterrorism

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is working with GlaxoSmithKline in an effort to develop drugs to fight both antibiotic resistance and bioterrorism.

Under the terms of the agreement, HHS will provide $40 million for the initial 18-month agreement and up to a total of $200 million should it be renewed over five years. The work will be governed by a BARDA-GSK joint oversight committee, which will monitor progress, make decisions related to the allocation of funds, and decide which drug candidates will be added to or removed from the partnership portfolio.

GSK notes that funding for this public-private collaboration will be allocated flexibly around its antibacterial portfolio, rather than focusing on a particular drug candidate. Further, it will allow the partners to study drugs for the potential treatment of both conventional and biothreat pathogens, GSK adds.

“There is an urgent need to address antibiotic resistance, and new models are needed to deal with this challenging area of drug development,” David Payne, Ph.D., head of GSK’s Antibacterial Discovery Performance Unit, said in a statement. “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.”