CARB-X awards $2.86M to develop novel oral antibiotic to treat drug-resistant gonorrhea

CARB-X awards $2.86M to develop novel oral antibiotic to treat drug-resistant gonorrhea

Up to $2.86M has been awarded to a research team including Penn State scientists to develop a new oral antibiotic to treat multidrug-resistant gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria that have developed resistance to all but one existing antibiotic. The research team includes Penn State Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Kenneth Keiler, the U.S.-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Microbiotix, as well as researchers from Emory University and the Uniformed Services University. The funds are awarded by the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, CARB-X, a non-profit partnership dedicated to accelerating early stage antibacterial research and development to address the rising global threat of drug-resistant bacteria. If the project successfully achieves certain development milestones, the team will be eligible for an additional $16 million in funding from CARB-X. "Drug-resistant gonorrhea is a growing global health problem that can cause serious and sometimes fatal health issues in men and woman and that has the possibility of increasing the risk of contracting or giving HIV," said Erin Duffy, chief of research and development at CARB-X, which is based at Boston University School of Law. "Neisseria gonorrhoeae has developed resistance to the effects of antibiotics, and in some cases, there is only one drug to which the bacteria are susceptible." The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 78 million people a year are infected with gonorrhea; roughly 1.14 million of those infections occur in the U.S., of which an estimated 550,000 involve drug-resistant bacteria. Drug-resistant N. gonorrhoeae is identified by the WHO as a 'priority' pathogen, and classified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an 'urgent public health threat' that requires aggressive action. This project features a novel approach to creating a new antibiotic and is in the early stages of development. If successful and approved for use in patients, it could represent tremendous progress in the treatment of gonorrhea and help curb the spread of drug-resistant bacteria." Erin Duffy, chief of research and development at CARB-X Related Stories



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