Alan Carr’s August ’20 Antibiotic-Antifungal update: Required reading!

Dear All,

I hope everyone is finding a bit of time to go off-line during August … always a good month for that!

To supplement your summer reading, we today have Alan Carr’s August 2020 update on antibacterials and antifungals (link). For those of you who don’t know Alan, he’s an Industry analyst at Needham and has been closely following the antibacterial-antifungal space since 2016. His interval summaries are invaluable with the highlight being his month-by-month sales summary (through June 2020 for this newsletter).

The bad news from this update is that (unsurprisingly, I must admit) 10 of the 18 products in the by-month summary had sales of < $25m for the past year … and as is discussed elsewhere, sales at that pace are a guaranteed path to company failure (link). The chart of sales of drugs for CRE is also interesting … it looks like we still use too much polymyxin & colistin, but there are hints that the newer agents are gaining use.

Here is the Executive Summary from the new update:

Developments since our last update on the space include positive results from Phase 3 trials of ibrexafungerp by Scynexis (SCYX BUY), Exblifep by Allecra, and SER-109 by Seres. Other events included mixed results from two more Phase 3 trials of sulopenem by Iterum, a disruption of the Xenleta launch by COVID-19 that led Nabriva (NBRV HOLD) to change its sales force, and the sale of Tetraphase to La Jolla. With respect to policy, legislation is being drafted that provides post-approval funding to industry (PASTEUR bill), but we believe this may not necessarily benefit investors and patients. We continue to believe reimbursement reform in the hospital setting (DISARM bill) and more frequent medical society guideline updates are prerequisites for a turnaround in the space. Most global Pharma companies announced participation in the $1B AMR Action Fund in July 2020 to support R&D at smaller companies. Although the announcement had minimal impact on stock prices in the space, we believe the new fund serves as evidence of Pharma commitment to infectious diseases and may persuade the U.S. to pass supportive legislation.

If you want to read beyond this edition of his update, please follow these links for prior interval updates from Alan:

  • Jan 2020 (link)
  • Sep 2019 (link)
  • Mar 2019 (link; this one provides a superbly detailed discussion of the entire sector)


All best wishes and with gratitude to Alan for the time and energy he puts into sharing these data with us, –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: https://amr.solutions/blog/. All opinions are my own.

Current funding opportunities:

  • Novo REPAIR Impact Fund closed its most recent round on 31 Jul 2020. Go here for current details.
  • 2020 funding rounds for CARB-X have not been announced.
  • The Global AMR R&D Hub’s dynamic dashboard (link) summarizes funders and projects by geography, stage, and more.


Upcoming meetings of interest to the AMR community:

  • 17 Aug 2020 (online, 1-2.30p EST): ASM Microbe 2020, Industry & Science program. Go here for details.
  • 24-28 Aug 2020 (online, 9.45a-18.30p CEST daily): BEAM Alliance-sponsored AMR Conference. Go here for details.
  • September 2020. University of Sheffield (UK). Applications are being taken for a new 1-year (full-time) or 2-year (part-time) Masters of Science course in Antimicrobial Resistance. The program runs annually from September and covers microbiology, clinical practice and policy. The course webpage is here.
  • 9-10 Sep 2020 (Washington, DC): US PACCARB public meeting. Go here for details.
  • 21-25 Oct 2019 (online meeting), IDWeek 2020. Go here for details.
  • 26-29 Oct 2020 (online meeting), Annual ESPID meeting (European Society for Pediatric ID, #38)
  • 27 Oct 2020 (online meeting), BARDA Industry Day, a discussion of U.S. Government medical countermeasure priorities. Mark your calendar now and watch this website for details.
  • 10-13 Apr 2021 (Vienna): Annual ECCMID meeting (#31)
  • 18-21 May 2021 (Albuquerque, New Mexico): Biannual meeting of the MSGERC (Mycoses Study Group Education and Research Consortium). Save-the-date announcement is here, details to follow.
  • 20-24 June 2021 (Toronto): International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD-12). Go here for details.
  • 3-7 Jun 2021 (Anaheim), ASM Microbe 2021. Go here for details.
  • 27 Jun-2 Jul 2021 (Ventura, CA): Gordon Research Conference entitled “Antimicrobial Peptides”. Go here for details, go here for the linked 26-27 Jun Gordon Research Seminar that precedes it.
  • 5-21 Aug 2021 (Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA): Residential course entitled “Molecular Mycology: Current Approaches to Fungal Pathogenesis.” This 2-week intensive training program has run annually for many years and gets outstanding reviews. Go here for details.
  • 8-11 Oct 2021 (Aberdeen, Scotland): 10th Trends in Medical Mycology. Go here for details.
  • 16-24 Oct 2021 (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. Registration is here and is limited to 40 students.
  • 6-11 Mar 2022 (Il Ciocco, Tuscany): Gordon Research Conference entitled “New Antibacterial Discovery and Development”. Go here for details, go here for the linked 5-6 Mar Gordon Research Seminar that precedes it.

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