Evotec receives CARB-X funding for antibiotic project

Evotec has partnered with partnership with the biotech company Resolute Therapeutics to combat infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance.

The partnership aims to develop a broad-spectrum antibiotic with a new mode of action compared with antibiotics currently on the market and will receive substantial funding from CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator), a global non-profit partnership led by Boston University and dedicated to funding and supporting the development of therapeutics, vaccines and rapid diagnostics to address the most serious drug-resistant bacteria.

Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec will in-license a research programme from Resolute currently in lead optimisation and continue the pre-clinical development on the company’s proprietary drug discovery and development platforms. The goal of the partnership is to develop a novel broad-spectrum antibiotic with both Gram-positive and Gram-negative coverage for indications including complicated urinary tract, intra-abdominal infections and hospital-acquired pneumonia. The compounds developed within the programme engage with two validated antibacterial targets but exhibit a novel mode of action.

Evotec will receive an award from CARB-X of up to $2.91 m over the next two years plus an additional $5.53 m over the three following years if certain project milestones are met.

Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are delighted to license this highly innovative antibacterial programme from Resolute. New antibiotics are urgently needed, particularly those that hold significant promise to overcome antimicrobial resistance. The significant support from CARB-X further validates the approach and we are optimistic to rapidly drive this programme to clinical proof of concept and beyond.”

Dr John Finn, President of Resolute Therapeutics, said: “We are excited to partner with Evotec to advance this important program and to have the CARB-X support. The antibacterial team at Evotec is very accomplished and brings a strong set of tools throughout all aspects of antibacterial preclinical research and development. We have enjoyed a close collaboration with the Evotec scientific team to draft the plan and feel confident that this team can deliver a new class of broad-spectrum antibacterial agents into the clinic.”

“Serious hospital-acquired infections are a serious threat globally, and new antibiotics are urgently needed,” said Erin Duffy, R&D Chief of CARB-X. “Evotec’s compounds constitute a new antibacterial class which, if eventually approved for use in the treatment of serious multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, would represent significant progress in the race against drug resistant pathogens.”

Image credit: Christian Dubovan

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