A billion-dollar fund researching new antibiotics targets phages with its first investments

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April 04, 2022

1 minute read


Disclosures: Burns and Skinner are employed by the AMR Action Fund.


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A billion-dollar public-private partnership in search of new antibiotics announced its first investments on Monday.

The AMR Action Fund – which was launched in 2020 with the aim of developing two to four new antibiotics by 2030 – said it invested in Adaptive Phage Therapeutics and Venatorx Pharmaceuticals.


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The AMR Action Fund has announced its first biotechnology investments in its fight against antimicrobial resistance. Source: Shutterstock.

The effort is funded by dozens of biopharmaceutical companies and supported by the WHO, the European Investment Bank and the Wellcome Trust

“Since its inception, the AMR Action Fund has focused on identifying investments that will produce urgent treatments and catalyze long-term innovation to address the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which now kills more people every year than HIV/AIDS or malaria.”, Bill Burns, PhD, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the AMR Action Fund, said in a press release.

According to the release, Adaptive Phage Therapeutics’ approach to combating resistance uses a growing library of bacteriophages that are currently being tested on a range of infections, such as prosthetic joint infections, bone infections and lung infections.

Phages – viruses that target and consume bacteria – have re-emerged as a promising alternative for treating antibiotic-resistant infections.

Venatorx Pharmaceuticals’ two main programs are investigating intravenous and oral beta-lactam/beta-lactamase inhibitor combinations targeting drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria.

“Adaptive Phage Therapeutics and Venatorx Pharmaceuticals are poised to change the landscape for treating drug-resistant infections,” Henry SkinnerdoctorateCEO of AMR Action Fund, said in the statement.

The statement did not specify how much the fund has invested in each company, but Skinner said the plan was to invest more than $100 million this year.

“Our investments are substantial, but we alone are not enough to meet the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance,” Skinner said. “It is now imperative that policy makers around the world enact market reforms to support investment in these urgently needed medicines.”

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