Achaogen earns $12M award for next-gen antibiotics; Endo acquires Somerset for $190M

→ Antibacterial R&D accelerator CARB-X has granted Achaogen $AKAO an award worth up to $12 million to fuel its early-stage programs in for multi-drug resistant gram-negative infections. With an initial payment of $2.4 million, the South San Francisco biotech will focus on developing next-gen versions of a common class of antibiotics called aminoglycoside, aiming to overcome current resistance mechanisms. The partners are particularly keen on the prospect of treating Enterobacteriaceae, P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii, all “priority 1 critical pathogens” as recognized by the WHO. “The projects in the Powered by CARB-X portfolio are in the early stages of research, but if successful, these innovative projects hold great potential to treat serious infections and fight against the rise of drug-resistant bacteria,” said Kevin Outterson, executive director of CARB-X (formerly known as the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator).

→ Generics and specialty pharmaceuticals company Endo International Plc plans to acquire New Jersey’s Somerset Therapeutics for $190 million. The acquisition will bring Somerset’s sterile injectable and ophthalmic drugs, but also the business of its India-based affiliate Wintac, which serves as Somerset’s contract developer and manufacturer. Somerset’s portfolio includes 8 commercial products as well as a pipeline of more than 40 products, over 25 of which have been submitted for approval to the FDA, the company said. “We believe Somerset Therapeutics is an ideal strategic fit for Endo as it expands our portfolio of sterile injectable and ophthalmic products,” said Paul Campanelli, Endo’s president and CEO, in a statement. “Additionally, Wintac’s strong sterile R&D and high-quality manufacturing capabilities have contributed greatly to Somerset Therapeutics’ steady revenue growth. We see significant opportunities to leverage our existing sales and marketing capabilities as we seek to maximize the value of the current and expected future Somerset Therapeutics’ products.”

With contribution by Brittany Meiling.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
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Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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