NIAID to fund a Chemistry Center for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CC4CARB)

Dear All,

Warm up your chemistry set! NIAID has just released a pre-solicitation notice of their intent to request applications for a new NIAID contract intended to establish an innovative Chemistry Center for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CC4CARB).

NIAID anticipates awarding a single CC4CARB contract funding 28,000 direct labor hours per year for up to 5 years. The core goal is the synthesis and delivery of rationally designed compound libraries to the scientific community for use in antibacterial drug discovery programs.  

Go here to read the full pre-solicitation notice. You can also see a bit more of the core idea in the excerpts just below my signature. This is a very substantial effort (translation: at 2000 hours/working year, 28,00 hours is 14 person-years of effort per calendar year) that is both very exciting and fits well with NCI’s work to make a natural product library available (link)!

No timeline is given, but a good guess would be that the formal solicitation notice will appear within a few weeks with a relatively short period of time for making the actual submission. Given the goal of having the CC4CARB funded by 1 Feb 2021 (see excerpt below), I would guess that the formal solicitation might run for just a few weeks in early February 2020, leaving almost a full year for application review and contracting. If this is of interest, I’d suggest that you start thinking now about how you would construct an application.

All best wishes for the new year, –jr

John H. Rex, MD | Chief Medical Officer, F2G Ltd. | Operating Partner, Advent Life Sciences. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnRex_NewAbx. See past newsletters and subscribe for the future: http://amr.solutions/blog/

Selected details from the pre-solicitation notice
The aim of this solicitation is to create an innovative chemistry center to design, synthesize and deliver rationally designed compound libraries to the scientific community for use in antibacterial drug discovery programs. This center will fit within the broader aims put forth in the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) by synthesizing and delivering new compounds that enable an understanding of a SAR for optimal activity against Gram-negative bacterial pathogens and that provide the basis for a robust antibacterial development pipeline. Critical to the success of this center are three core requirements:

  1. Chemical Library Design – a well-organized and transparent process for solicitation, review and approval of design proposals from external scientists,
  2. Compound Synthesis – a robust capability for high-quality and timely synthesis of diverse chemotypes, and
  3. Compound Management- a seamless mechanism for managing the storage and distribution of the resulting compound libraries to the scientific community.

In addition, a single Principal Investigator (PI), who ideally is skilled in synthetic chemistry, shall be accountable for coordinating all contract activities, along with comprehensive project management support, and for communicating progress and recommending approval decisions to the NIAID Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR).

It is anticipated that one (1) cost-reimbursement plus fixed-fee, level-of-effort type contract will be awarded with a 12-month base period of performance beginning on or around February 01, 2021. Awards are expected to include four (4) one-year term option periods which replicate the base period activities.

Upcoming meetings of interest to the AMR community:

  • 16 Jan 2020 (Washington, DC): Duke-Margolis meeting entitled (approximately) “improving Payment Policies for Antibiotics.” This meeting will run 10:30am – 4:30pm ET. Go here to register.
  • 21 Jan 2020 (1700-1830 CET, online): GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “Testing for the potential of emergence of resistance.” Go here to register.
  • 28-29 Jan 2020 (Rockville, MD, NIAID campus): Two-day workshop entitled “Understanding the Biology, Antifungal Resistance and Clinical Implications of Candida auris.” Draft agenda is here and registration is here.
  • 20 Feb 2020 (London, UK): Westminster Health Forum conference entitled “Antimicrobial resistance – coordinating a global response and progress on the UK strategy.” Go here for details.
  • 24 Feb 2020 (London, UK): One-day workshop hosted by Royal College of Nursing and the Longitude Prize entitled “Developing point-of-care diagnostics for urinary tract infections (UTIs): addressing clinical need in the UK.” Register here.
  • 26-27 Feb 2020 (Washington, DC): US PACCARB public meeting. Go here for details.
  • 27 Feb 2020 (1700-1830 CET, online): GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “PK/PD murine infection models: Focus on study elements, variability, and interpretation of results.” Go here to register.
  • 1-6 Mar 2020 (Il Ciocco, Tuscany, Italy): Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Antibacterial Discovery and Development: “Now is the time to re-boot antibiotic R&D before it’s too little, too late.” Go here for details.
  • 12-13 Mar 2020 (Basel): BEAM-, Novo REPAIR-, CARB-X-, DZIF-, ND4BB-, ENABLE-supported (among a long list!) Conference on Novel Antimicrobials and AMR Diagnostics. Details are here, poster deadline is 12 Dec 2019.  
  • 16-17 Mar 2020 (London): BSAC Spring Conference entitled: “Bridging the gap between science, policy and effective antimicrobial use.” Go here for details. 
  • 18-21 Apr 2020 (Paris): Annual ECCMID meeting (#30)
  • 25-30 May 2020 (Rotterdam), Annual ESPID meeting (European Society for Pediatric ID, #38)
  • 27-28 Jun 2020 (Bryant University, Rhode Island): Drug Resistance Gordon Research Seminar entitled “Mechanisms and Approaches to Overcoming Drug Resistance in Cancer, Infectious Disease and Agriculture” for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists. Go here for details … this immediately precedes the GRC listed just next
  • 28 Jun-3 Jul 2020 (Bryant University, Rhode Island): Gordon Research Conference (GRC) entitled “Strategies to Disrupt Drug Resistance in Infectious Disease, Cancer and Agriculture.” Go here for details.
  • 1-4 Sep 2020 (Dublin): Annual ASM-ESCMID Conference on Antibiotic Development #5! Mark your calendar now and go here for details.
  • 9-10 Sep 2020 (Washington, DC): US PACCARB public meeting. Go here for details.
  • 22-25 Sep 2020 (Albuquerque, New Mexico): Biannual meeting of the MSGERC (Mycoses Study Group Education and Research Consortium). Save-the-date announcement is here, details to follow.
  • 17-25 Oct 2020 (Annecy, France): Interdisciplinary Course on Antibiotics and Resistance (ICARe). This is a soup-to-nuts residential course on antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, and antibiotic R&D. The course is very intense, very detailed, and gets rave reviews. The date is set for 2020 and the program will ultimately appear here. Registration is limited to 40 students and opens 15 Mar 2020.
  • 10-13 Apr 2021 (Vienna): Annual ECCMID meeting (#31)

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