Evotec SE and Lygature announced their cooperation in a new initiative for the development of novel antibacterial agents: Gram-Negative Antibacterials NOW (“GNA NOW”). The new GNA NOW project, led by Evotec SE, managed by Lygature and funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), will work on the development of novel antibacterial agents to battle antimicrobial resistance in gram-negative bacteria. The multi-stakeholder consortium includes nine other partners from academia, industry and SMEs: Nosopharm, BIOASTER, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, North Bristol National Health Service Trust, University of Liverpool, Inserm, Erasmus Medical Center, Medical University of Vienna, and Fraunhofer IME.
Collectively, the GNA NOW members will progress three programmes in parallel with the goal of bringing one through completion of Phase I studies and one reaching Investigational New Drug (IND) stage and/or up to two programmes reaching clinical development candidate stage, by 2024.
GNA NOW is supported by the IMI, a joint initiative between the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), of which Evotec is a member. The IMI, the world's largest public-private partnership (PPP) in life sciences, will match Evotec’s in-kind contribution with a € 12 m grant over the next six years, to fund the activities of the consortium. This award will allow the eleven partners of this consortium to build European platforms of excellence around each step of the critical path for drug discovery and development. European experts will join forces to contribute to “mechanism of action elucidation”, “medicinal chemistry and design”, “in vitro profiling”, “pre-candidate efficacy studies”, “candidate PK/PD studies”, “safety and ADME”, “CMC”, as well as “clinical studies and modelling”.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are extremely glad to initiate GNA NOW with the backing of the European Commission and the EFPIA through the Innovative Medicines Initiative. Bacterial infections are a growing threat around the globe and are driving the need for innovative therapeutics with new mechanisms of action. GNA NOW gives us the opportunity to join forces with leading institutions of both the public and the private sector across Europe to develop new gram-negative antibacterial agents as quickly and as efficiently as possible.”
Dr Kristina Orrling, program manager at Lygature and GNA NOW project coordinator, commented: “By joining forces we can fend off a grim future where a simple urinary infection can be fatal. Together, we’ll strengthen the antibacterial arsenal.”