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BARDA has entered a $12-million contract with biopharmaceutical firm Achaogen for the late-stage development of an antibiotic against resistant bacteria, and as a potential treatment for biowarfare agents.
On Oct. 6, 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will sponsor the next stages of development of an antibiotic for treating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and that can potentially be used against infections cause by biowarfare agents.
Under a nine-month, $12-million contract with Achaogen, a San Francisco, CA-based late-stage biopharmaceutical company, BARDA will support nonclinical studies, manufacturing, and preparatory activities for a Phase III clinical trial of C-scape, an orally-administered beta-lactam/beta-lactamase inhibitor combination, to treat complicated urinary tract infections (cUTIs).
The contract will also support the study of the drug’s potential to treat infections caused by biowarfare bacteria such as the plague-causing Yersinia pestis and Francisella tularensis, which causes tularemia, a potentially serious illness. Early testing suggests that C-scape could provide protection against these agents. In addition, the contract can be extended for up to a total of three years and $18 million to support the Phase III trial, manufacturing, nonclinical studies, and the preparation of regulatory filings for FDA approval.
“Combating antibiotic-resistant infections is fundamental to US biodefense,” explained BARDA Director Rick Bright, PhD, in an agency press release. “The long hospitalizations that may be likely after a bioterrorism attack leave Americans open to secondary drug-resistant infections, which means to be prepared for bioterrorism, we need to have products available that treat antibiotic-resistant infections.”