GangaGen Biotechnologies: CARB-X to award $2.5 million to GangaGen for developing pneumonia drug


BENGALURU: CARB-X said it would award up to $2.5 million to Bengaluru-headquartered GangaGen Biotechnologies to develop novel antibacterial proteins, called klebicins, to treat pneumonia caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae, a difficult-to-treat bacteria.

GangaGen would be eligible for an additional $8.1 million in funding from CARB-X if project milestones are met, subject to available funds, said CARB-X in a press release. CARB-X is a non-profit organisation led by Boston University that focuses on accelerating antibacterial research.

“GangaGen is researching a highly innovative approach to treat infections caused by multidrug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, including the carbapenem-resistant and Extended-Spectrum ß-Lactamase (ESBL)-expressing strains of particular clinical concern. The project is in the early stages of development and if successful, it could represent progress in the treatment of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections,” Erin Duffy, R&D Chief of CARB-X, was quoted saying.

Klebsiella pneumoniae presents a serious health challenge around the world and is of increasing concern in low-and-middle-income countries , where it causes life-threatening infections such as pneumonia and neonatal sepsis.

CARB-X funding for the project comes from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of Health and Human Services; the Wellcome Trust in the UK; the UK Global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Innovation Fund (GAMRIF), and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 700,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections and CARB-X funds projects that target drug-resistant bacteria highlighted on the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s Antibiotic Resistant Threats list or the Priority Bacterial Pathogens list published by the WHO.

CARB-X currently funds and supports 43 active projects. CARB-X is investing up to $480 million in non-dilutive funding between 2016-2022 to support the early development of new therapeutics, preventatives and rapid diagnostics.

In addition to project development, funding will also support collaboration with academic institutions and hospital-based research institutions in India to address the susceptibility of people living on the Asian subcontinent to Klebsiella pneumoniae.

“We are delighted to receive CARB-X’s support to progress the klebicin programme. Klebsiella pneumoniae is a hard-to-treat pulmonary pathogen resistant to many of the current antibiotics,” said Tanjore S Balganesh, President of GangaGen.





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