London-based pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline signed a $200 million agreement with the United States government to produce new antibiotics.
These new antibiotics are expected to overcome resistance and fight diseases associated with bioterrorism.
According to Reuters, this agreement is “the first of its kind between Washington and a drug company and will allow funding to move around GSK's antibiotics portfolio rather than focusing on a single drug candidate.”
A release by the company noted that under the terms of the agreement, Health and Human Services will provide $40 million for the initial 18-month agreement and up to a total of $200 million if the agreement is renewed over five years.
The statement also noted that drug resistant bacterial infections are expected to become a global crisis.
"There is an urgent need to address antibiotic resistance and new models are needed to deal with this challenging area of drug development," said David Payne, head of GSK's Antibacterial Discovery Performance Unit in the press release.
According to the press release, many companies have in recent years withdrawn from antibacterial R&D due to the scientific challenges and a lower return on investment, affecting the ability to treat bacterial infections and compromising our preparedness to tackle biothreat pathogens.
GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.
Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of Health and Human Services, and GlaxoSmithKline will have a joint oversight committee that will monitor progress, make decisions on the allocation of funds and decide on the addition or removal of drug candidates from the portfolio.