May 23, 2013 | By Márcio Barra
Antibiotics’ research is very rare nowadays in the industry, as difficult molecular targets and a low profit rate dissuade pharmaceutical companies from investing resources to create new solutions to the growing antibacterial resistance concerns.
In this outlook, GlaxoSmithKline signing an up to $200 deal with the US government to fight antibiotic resistance and bioterrorism is a positive move in the fight against bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and a sign that the US government has made antibiotic resistance a top priority.
The deal, described by Reuters as “a first-of-its-kind collaboration”, the British drug giant will work with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, to develop new antibiotics. The deal allows funds provided by the US government to move around GSK’s antibiotic portfolio, rather than focusing on a single antibiotic. This “portfolio approach” was described as very flexible, as it allows work to move swiftly between drug candidates, in case one of them fails in tests. The compounds covered by this deal are still in Phase I of clinical trials.
GSK will first receive $40 million in the first 18 months and up to a total of $200 million if the deal is renewed over five years. This public-private partnership will be governed by a Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority – GSK joint oversight committee that will monitor the project’s overall progress.