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Evotec receives $8.4m CARB-X funding

Evotec SE and its new partner Resolute Therapeutics, a specialist in antimicrobial resistance (AMR), have received a US$8.4m funding from CARB-X for co-development of a first-in-class antibiotic.

Evotec SE has licensed a research programme from Resolute Therapeutics Inc currently in lead optimisation. Under the agreement, Evotec will continue the pre-clinical development using its proprietary drug discovery and development platforms. The goal of the partnership is to develop a novel broad-spectrum antibiotic with both Gram-positive and Gram-negative coverage for indications including complicated urinary tract, intra-abdominal infections and hospital-acquired pneumonia. The compounds developed within the programme engage with two validated antibacterial targets but exhibit a novel mode of action.

Evotec will receive an award from CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) of up to US-$2.91m over the next two years plus an additional US-$5.53 m over the three following years if certain project milestones are met. According to Evotec, this will cover a substantial part the R&D cost.

Resolute will receive an undisclosed upfront payment from Evotec as well as success-based milestone payments while Evotec retains the right to take over the project at a pre-agreed value inflection point and subsequently continue the development with other potential clinical and marketing partners.

“Serious hospital-acquired infections are a serious threat globally, and new antibiotics are urgently needed,” said Erin Duffy, Ph. D., R&D Chief of CARB-X. “Evotec’s compounds constitute a new antibacterial class which, if eventually approved for use in the treatment of serious multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, would represent significant progress in the race against drug resistant pathogens.”

CARB-X is investing up to US$500m from 2016-2021 to support innovative antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines and rapid diagnostics to fight AMR. CARB-X supports the world’s largest and most innovative pipeline of preclinical products against drug-resistant infections. CARB-X focuses exclusively on high priority drug-resistant bacteria, especially Gram-negatives. 

Evotech has some expertise with the development of antibioticis. Under a 2018 contract with Sanofi, Evotec is managing Sanofi’s previous antifinfectives programmes in Lyon. In 2019, Evotec partnered to develop antibiotics against drug-resistant Gram-negative bugs.