2024 CARB-X funding rounds: Treatment, Prevention, and Diagnostics

Dear All,

Heads up! Having just yesterday announced funding of its 100th projectCARB-X have today announced two funding rounds for 2024. With application dates of 18-29 Mar 2024 and 23 Sep-4 Oct 2024, applications are sought on 4 major areas (see extended details below my signature):

  • Therapeutics for Infections Caused by Gram-Negative Pathogens (WHO and CDC threat list pathogens)
  • Prevention for Invasive Disease (focused on S. aureus and E. coli)
  • Diagnostics for Neonatal Sepsis
  • Proof-Of-Concept for Novel Sample Types for Diagnosing Lower-Respiratory-Tract Infections

I like this spread of topics … the first 2 areas represent ongoing major gaps with global impact; the latter two would have special value in low- and middle-income countries with high(er) disease burden.

Per the press release, public webinars will be held on 21 Mar (7:00pm ET) and 22 Mar (8:00am ET) to discuss the scope of the funding rounds, application process, and to answer questions — you can register for the webinars at https://carb-x.org/apply/apply-here/.

I’ll also give a specific shout-out to the funders who have made this possible either through funding or provision of services in kind:

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (HHS-ASPR-BARDA)
  • Wellcome
  • Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
  • UK Department of Health and Social Care as part of the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF)
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC, new funder since 2023)
  • Novo Nordisk Foundation (new funder since 2024)
  • U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in HHS (in-kind services through access to a suite of preclinical services for product development)

It is amazing to see how far we’ve come! Seeing CARB-X with 100 funded projects and 8 funders, including 4 governments (US, Germany, UK, Canada) is simply stunning! MANY THANKS (again) to all the funders and also to Team CARB-X! Now, please get busy and submit those brilliant, innovative ideas!

All best wishes, –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://13.43.35.2/blog/. All opinions are my own.

Copied straight from the press release, here is a bit more detail on the topic areas:

  • THERAPEUTICS FOR INFECTIONS CAUSED BY GRAM-NEGATIVE PATHOGENS
    The scope is restricted to direct-acting small-molecule therapeutics. Molecules with properties that will deliver an IV route with an oral stepdown are preferred. In all cases, activity against both susceptible and multidrug-resistant organisms on the WHO and CDC bacterial threat lists is essential.
  • PREVENTION FOR INVASIVE DISEASE 
    Novel approaches to prevention of invasive disease caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Escherichia coli are sought. Given the history of challenges in drug development in this arena, modalities other than vaccines are preferred; however, if a vaccine is proposed, a novel aspect (e.g. adjuvant strategy or vaccine composition) that makes a compelling case must be underscored.
  • DIAGNOSTICS FOR NEONATAL SEPSIS
    Consistent with our “Aligned by Design” strategy, we seek diagnostics to support the growing portfolio of potential maternal vaccines to prevent neonatal sepsis. Products focused on rapid triage, bacterial identification and/or automated susceptibility testing are sought. Time-to-result and cost-of-goods are key criteria, and small-sample volumes are critical for this patient population. Pathogen ID and AST Products must focus on priority pathogens, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter baumannii.
  • PROOF-OF-CONCEPT FOR NOVEL SAMPLE TYPES FOR DIAGNOSING LOWER-RESPIRATORY-TRACT INFECTIONS
    Consistent with our “Aligned by Design” strategy, we seek diagnostics to support the many therapeutic projects focused on lower-respiratory-tract infections (LRTI). Owing to the challenges with BAL samples, as a first step, projects that can demonstrate proof-of-concept data with novel sample types are sought. 

John’s Top Recurring Meetings

Virtual meetings are easy to attend, but regular attendance at annual in-person events is the key to building your network and gaining deeper insight. My personal favorites for such in-person meetings are below. Of particular value for developers are the AMR Conference and the ASM-ESCMID conference. Hope to see you there!

  • 6-7 Mar 2024 (Basel, Switzerland): The 8th AMR Conference 2024. Go here to register!
  • 27-30 April 2024 (Barcelona, Spain): 34th ECCMID, the annual meeting of the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Go here for details. 
  • 17-20 Sep 2024 (Porto, Portugal): ASM/ESCMID Joint Conference on Drug Development to Meet the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance. Go here for the meeting’s general website. You can’t register (yet) for the 2024 event, but save the date!
  • 16-20 Oct 2024 (Los Angeles, USA): IDWeek 2024, the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Save the date! More details to come!

Upcoming meetings of interest to the AMR community:

  • 6-7 Mar 2024 (Basel, 6-7 Mar 2024): See Recurring Meetings list, above. 
  • 17-22 Mar 2024 (Ventura Beach, CA, in person): Gordon Research Conference (GRC) entitled “New Antibacterial Discovery and Development” with a 16-17 Mar 2024 pre-conference Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) for young doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. An intensive residential meeting, GRCs are highly recommended for networking and deep research insights. Apply here for the GRC and here for the GRS.
  • 25-26 Mar 2024 (In person, London): “Novel Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases,” a 2-day workshop co-organised and funded by Imperial College London’s Institute of InfectionJPIAMR-funded B2B2B NetworkLondon In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operativeNIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre, and DIAMONDS consortium. Go here for details and to register.
  • 10-11 Apr 2024 (virtual): Sepsis Alliance AMR Conference, a 2-day conference focused on “practical technologies to manage sepsis and counteract the expanding challenge of antimicrobial resistance.” Go here for details and to register.
  • 26 Apr 2024 (Barcelona, Spain): ESCMID workshop entitled “Using Data Science and Machine Learning for Infection Science: A Hands-on Introduction.” Click here to register or here for more details. 
  • 27-30 April 2024 (Barcelona, Spain): 34th ECCMID, the annual meeting of the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. See Recurring Meetings list, above.
  • 26-31 May 2024 (Montreal, Canada): EDAR7, the McGill AMR Centre’s 7th edition of their Environmental Dimension of Antimicrobial Resistance conference. Go here for details; final abstract deadline is 21 Dec 2023.
  • [NEW] 28-29 May 2024 (in person, Uppsala, Sweden): Uppsala Antibiotic Days, a broad-ranging 2-day program hosted by the Uppsala Antibiotic Center. Go here for details and to register.
  • 9-13 June 2024 (in person, Ascona, Switzerland): “New Approaches to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, 2nd Edition” is a Sunday-Thursday residential workshop focused on the deep biology of AMR. Sponsored by NCCR AntiResist (a Swiss National Science Foundation consortium), the scientific program has the feel of a Gordon Conference. Space is limited, so you are encouraged to apply promptly — go here for details.
  • 13-17 June 2024 (Atlanta, Georgia): ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. You can’t register yet, but you can go here for general details.
  • 17-20 Sep 2024 (Porto, Portugal): ASM/ESCMID Joint Conference on Drug Development to Meet the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance. See Recurring Meetings list, above.
  • 16-20 Oct 2024 (Los Angeles, USA): IDWeek 2024, the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. See Recurring Meetings list, above. 
  • 19-27 Oct 2024 (Annecy, France, residential in-person program): ICARe (Interdisciplinary Course on Antibiotics and Resistance). Now in its 8th year, Patrice Courvalin directs the program with the support of an all-star scientific committee and faculty. The resulting soup-to-nuts training covers all aspects of antimicrobials, is very intense, and routinely gets rave reviews! Seating is limited, so mark your calendars now if you are interested. Applications open in March 2024 — go here for more details.
  • 4-5 Dec 2024 (in person, Washington, DC): “Fungal Dx 2024: Fungal Diagnostics in Clinical Practice” is a 2-day in-person workshop organized by ISHAM‘s Fungal Diagnostics Working Group. The program and registration links are available at https://fungaldx.com/; the agenda is comprehensive and features an all-star global list of speakers.

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