In late September, Achaogen Inc., a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative antibacterials addressing multidrug-resistant (MDR) gram-negative infections, announced that it had been awarded a contract valued at up to $18 million in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support the development of C-Scape, a product candidate being developed to treat serious bacterial infections due to extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae. The BARDA contract was awarded to Achaogen under BARDA’s antibacterials program, and includes a nine-month base period with committed funding of $12 million and subsequent option periods that, if exercised, would bring the total value of the award to $18 million.
“We are extremely grateful for BARDA’s support, and validation, of our C-Scape program as we advance this unique candidate through a streamlined development approach with an aim of initiating a pivotal Phase 3 trial next year,” said Kenneth Hillan, Achaogen's CEO. “We believe that C-Scape offers the potential for a much-needed oral therapy to effectively treat infections due to ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae, and we look forward to continuing to work with BARDA as they provide critical leadership in the effort to combat multidrug resistance.”
Around the same time came an even bigger bit of financial news from Emergent BioSolutions Inc., which was awarded a contract valued at approximately $63 million by BARDA to develop an antidote spray device for the treatment of known or suspected acute cyanide poisoning.
“Emergent has a successful history of developing medical countermeasures that address the U.S. government’s top priority public health threats,” said Sean Kirk, senior vice president, manufacturing operations and interim head, devices business unit at Emergent BioSolutions. “The development of the intranasal SIAN device will expand the company’s portfolio of novel devices to combat chemical threats. We are excited about the potential of this product candidate to meet the needs of both the government and commercial markets.”