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AMRI and Genentech team on antibacterials

By Gareth Macdonald , 06-Jan-2011
Last updated on 07-Jan-2011 at 14:01 GMT

AMRI and Genentech have teamed up on the development of antibacterials, under a new licensing deal announced this week.

The deal grants Genentech exclusive access, development and commercialisation rights to compounds identified by New York, US-headquartered AMRI’s natural products research programme.

Bruce Sargent, VP of discovery R&D as AMRI told in-Outsourcing-Pharma.com that: “We are excited to have executed this research and licensing agreement with Genentech and look forward to this collaboration focused on identifying novel antibacterial agents."

He went on to explain that "The AMRI program has been running for a few years now and we have talked with several companies," adding that “key drivers for interest have been for compounds with high potency, our compounds target more vigorous infections, and projects focused on resistant strains,” and citing MRSA as an example.

Regulatory calls for antibacterials

Genentech and AMRI’s focus on antibacterials will be welcomed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which highlighted the lack of such products in development as a major concern in its 2015 roadmap .

The regulator said that: “One of the most critical areas concerns the limited availability of novel antibiotics, often caused by unfavourable conditions for developing new effective antibiotic agents as well as strategies to limit the development of antimicrobial resistance.”

This echoed comments by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) last year, which issued a stark public health warning about the lack of about the lack of antibacterials in development, citing two recent reports .

The time has come for a global commitment to develop new antibacterial drugs. Current data document the impending disaster due to the confluence of decreasing investment in antibacterial drug research and development concomitant with the documented rapid increase in the level of resistance to currently licensed drugs.”

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