US NIAID awards $5m to researchers developing non-traditional therapeutics for bacterial infections

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock
Image: iStock

Related tags Bacteria

$5m in funding has been awarded to various research projects in order to help develop non-traditional therapeutics for bacterial infections.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH, announced the award last week as part of its response to President’s National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

The non-traditional therapeutics funded under this initiative include viruses targeting specific pathogenic bacteria (bacteriophages), molecules modulating the virulence or pathogenicity of bacteria, and molecules that modulate the host immune response to infection, among others​,” a representative from NIAID tells us.

NIAID’s Antibacterial Resistance Program​ was outlined in 2014 with the goal of stimulating innovative research and product development to help combat antibacterial resistance, an issue that has seen increased attention in the last year.

NIAID is committed to mitigating the morbidity, mortality and costs of the growing problem of antibacterial resistance through a comprehensive research strategy that includes new ideas as exemplified by these new projects aiming to identify non-traditional therapeutics​,” added NIAID.

Twenty-four awards were issued, and while the vast majority of the awarded recipients are universities and other academic institutions, three industrial organizations also received funding.

CUBRC, a research, development, testing, and systems integration company is among the award recipients, as well as Synthetic Genomics Vaccines, a synthetic biology company.

Texas A&M Agrilife Research is also receiving funding for its project: Development of Therapeutic Bacteriophages against Carbapenemase-Resistant Klebsiella Pneumoniae. ​The company focuses on researching agriculture, natural resources, and life sciences.

The awards will provide two years of support with the possibility of three additional years of funding for the most promising projects.

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