The content of this article is supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number IDSEP160030 from ASPR/BARDA and by awards from Wellcome Trust, the Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF) funded by the UK Government Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as administrated by CARB-X. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, other funders, or CARB-X.
Antibiotic resistance is fatal: If antibiotics have no effect, simple infections become deadly. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 700,000 people die each year worldwide from bacterial infections. Additionally, research on new antibiotics had been drastically reduced in the last decades. However, companies in the Basel region such as Basliea, BioVersys, Idorsia, Polyphor and Roche as well as the University of Basel and the FHNW are pursuing the field of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The Basel region being a leading life science hub and a major centre for antibiotics research, BaselArea.swiss successfully applied to join the CARB-X Global Accelerator Network.
CARB-X is the world’s largest public-private partnership dedicated to accelerating early development of antibacterial R&D. Until 2021, CARB-X is investing more than 500 million $USD to support the development of innovative antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines, rapid diagnostics and devices. Companies and researchers can apply for non-dilutive funding to accelerate their projects. To further boost the development, CARB-X is now expanding its Global Accelerator Network.
In extending its global network in Europe and Asia, CARB-X aims to provide additional expertise and business support to projects and to grow the scientific community worldwide.
BaselArea.swiss supports applicants
As a member of the CARB-X Global Accelerator Network, BaselArea.swiss will conduct several tasks: First, the accelerator will strengthen the community and the network of AMR-related companies and institutions while it supports potential candidates in applying for CARB-X project funding. As the initiative for innovation and economic promotion of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft and Jura that fosters a broad network, BaselArea.swiss is ideally positioned for that task.
Secondly, specialists in the field of AMR advise CARB-X funded companies in the project development. This can include drug development strategies, chemistry review, business strategy counselling, intellectual property, investor relations, partnering and any other type of support the projects may need. These activities are funded by CARB-X directly.
For companies and researchers, the CARB-X fund provides attractive conditions with non-dilutive funding for AMR projects reinvigorating research and drug development in this area of high unmet medical need. Thanks to the expanded accelerator network, applications to CARB-X are also much easier to submit and increased success rates delivering new products for overcoming the global antibiotic resistance crisis are ensured.
Contribution to fight AMR
Malcolm Page, independent expert in the field of AMR and former Head of Biology at Basilea will be part of the BaselArea.swiss CARB-X accelerator. With his comprehensive expertise, he is the ideal person to advice CARB-X funded companies. The advisory board at the BaselArea.swiss accelerator currently consists of Michael Altorfer, Swiss Biotech Association, Prof. Christoph Dehio, University of Basel, Marc Gitzinger, BioVersys, Helmut Kessmann, Polyphor and Marie Petit, BEAM Alliance/Villiger Valuation.
BaselArea.swiss strives to provide optimal information for applicants, excellent community building and cross-project support. Additionally, the collaboration between BaselArea.swiss and CARB-X will strengthen the life science hub of the Basel region further. Most importantly, installing the CARB-X accelerator in Northwestern Switzerland is a meaningful contribution to the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
CARB-X is funded by the US Government Department of Health and Human Services (ASPR/BARDA), the Wellcome Trust, the UK Government Department of Health and Social Care’s Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with in-kind support support from NIH/NIAID. It is based at the Boston University School of Law.
CARB-X is investing more than US$500 million from 2016-2021 to support the development of innovative antibiotics, therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics, devices and other life-saving products targeting drug-resistant bacteria. CARB-X supports research focused on high priority drug-resistant bacteria, especially Gram-negatives.
The CARB-X global accelerator network provides business, scientific and technical support to CARB-X-funded projects. The network is made up of organizations including BaselArea.swiss, the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI), the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio), RTI International and Wellcome Trust, which is a CARB-X funder and accelerator.