The award will contribute to existing GSK studies and new research into biothreat pathogens such as Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague and Bacillus anthracis which causes anthrax, as part of BARDA's remit to support the advanced development of countermeasures that address emerging disease threats and public health.
GSK will initially receive $38.5 million award from BARDA over two years to contribute to the development of GSK2251052, an experimental antibiotic against a novel target, the bacterial enzyme leucyl tRNA synthetase. Additional financing may be available if BARDA exercises options for future funding, potentially bringing the total value of the award to $94.5 million.
"We welcome this agreement with BARDA, which will support the development of GSK2251052 and important research into medical countermeasures for bioterrorism," said David Payne, head of antibacterial drug discovery at GSK. "Such innovative public-private collaborations provide an additional stimulus for anti-bacterial research and development."
Few new antibiotic classes have entered the market in the past 40 years and the growing resistance of bacteria to treatments is creating new challenges in the management of infection.
BARDA is a division within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
GSK2251052 is a boron based antibacterial from Anacor's boron chemistry platform and was the first compound that GSK opted to license in 2010 as part of the R&D collaboration between Anacor and GSK that was set up in 2007.
GlaxoSmithKline - one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.