Innovation for Your Health
 

08/05/2019

New IMI project “GNA NOW” kicks off its battle against antimicrobial resistance

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.”

About antibiotic-resistant bacteria and GNA NOW
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria were estimated to be responsible for 670,000 infections and 33,110 attributable deaths in the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) in 2015. From a global perspective, antimicrobial resistance could kill up to ten million people every year by 2050, which could cost up to € 94 trillion ($ 100 tn). In February 2017, the WHO published a list of priority pathogens for the development of new antibiotics. Carbapenem-resistant gram-negative bacteria (Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii) were at the top of that list, with critical priority. GNA NOW is an Evotec-led joint initiative of eleven partners, project managed by Lygature, with the goal of developing novel antibacterial agents and bringing one of the three simultaneously developed compounds through completion of Phase I studies plus one compound reaching Investigational New Drug (IND) stage and/or up to two compounds reaching clinical development candidate stage, by 2024.

This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 853979. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA. 

ABOUT THE INNOVATIVE MEDICINES INITIATIVE
The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is working to improve health by speeding up the development of, and patient access to, the next generation of medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, pharmaceutical companies, and other companies active in healthcare research, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organisations, and medicines regulators. This approach has proven highly successful, and IMI projects are delivering exciting results that are helping to advance the development of urgently-needed new treatments in diverse areas.

IMI is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Through the IMI2 programme, IMI has a budget of €3.3 billion for the period 2014-2020. Half of this comes from the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The other half comes from large companies, mostly from the pharmaceutical sector; these do not receive any EU funding, but contribute to the projects ‘in kind’, for example by donating their researchers’ time or providing access to research facilities or resources.

ABOUT LYGATURE
Lygature, a not-for-profit foundation, acts as the independent coordinator of the GNA NOW consortium, providing governance in terms of progress, finance, collaboration and communication. Since 2006, Lygature has supported over a hundred public-private partnerships in the field of life sciences & health with a combined budget of well over 600 million euros.

Source: Evotec from August 1th 2019, www.evotec.com/en/invest/news--announcements/press-releases/p/new-imi-project-gna-now-kicks-off-its-battle-against-antimicrobial-resistance-5839

 

 

Partner

  • Desitin

Content loading failure