GARDP and Sumitomo Pharma announce partnership in search for new antibiotics

22 November 2022

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GENEVA AND OSAKA – The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) and Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd (Sumitomo Pharma) have signed an agreement for GARDP to access and screen a set of compounds from Sumitomo Pharma’s compound library. The set of compounds will be tested by the Institut Pasteur Korea in an optimized high throughput screen with the aim of discovering novel compounds with antibacterial activity against drug-resistant bacteria. This agreement supports GARDP’s efforts to tackle serious bacterial infections by developing antibiotics while endeavouring to ensure their sustainable access. 

With few antibiotics in development, antimicrobial resistance is a rapidly growing global health threat. Nearly 1.3 million people die of drug-resistant infections every year. Serious bacterial infections, and in particular those caused by Gram-negative bacteria, have been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global public health priority. 

The compounds to be provided by Sumitomo Pharma have never been screened for antibacterial activity. They will be tested against bacteria identified as a critical priority for research and development of new antibiotics in WHO’s global priority pathogens list. Through this screening, GARDP seeks to identify novel compounds active against novel bacterial targets that could form the basis of new drugs.  

“Access to these novel compounds is a unique opportunity for GARDP, and I am excited by the potential to find new antibiotics from Sumitomo Pharma’s compound library,” said Professor Laura JV Piddock, Scientific Director, GARDP. “In only two years, our screening strategy has been validated and successfully screened over 100,000 compounds and natural product extracts. We are now well placed to identify new antibiotics.” 

“Sumitomo Pharma is delighted to contribute to GARDP’s antimicrobial resistance screening activity via our compound library and to share our know-how in the field of research of infectious diseases,” said Dr Isao Shimizu, Executive Officer, Senior Executive Research Director, Drug Research Division, Sumitomo Pharma. “Sumitomo Pharma has committed to contributing to global health as part of its corporate social responsibility. As the discoverer and developer of meropenem, one of the most comprehensive and well-used carbapenem antibiotics in the world, Sumitomo Pharma recognizes that antimicrobial resistance is a social problem requiring international initiatives. As part of these efforts, we are developing KSP-1007 (a novel β-lactamase inhibitor) in a Phase 1 study in the United States for the treatment of carbapenem-resistant bacteria infections.” 

About GARDP 

The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP)is a not-for-profit organization based in Switzerland developing new treatments for drug-resistant infections that pose the greatest threat to health. GARDP was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in 2016 and legally founded in 2018 to ensure that everyone who needs antibiotics receives effective and affordable treatment, no matter where they live. It aims to develop new treatments to fight drug-resistant infections, with a focus on serious bacterial infections in hospitalized adults and children, sepsis in newborns, and sexually transmitted infections. GARDP is funded by the governments of Australia, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, the Canton of Geneva, as well as Médecins Sans Frontières, Wellcome and other private foundations. GARDP is registered under the legal name GARDP Foundation. 

About Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd 

Sumitomo Pharma defines its corporate mission as: “To broadly contribute to society through value creation based on innovative research and development activities for the betterment of healthcare and fuller lives for people worldwide.” By channelling its total efforts into research and development for new drugs, it aims to provide innovative and effective pharmaceutical solutions to people not only in Japan but also worldwide in order to realize its corporate mission. For more details, please visit Sumitomo Pharma’s website: 

About Institut Pasteur Korea 

Institut Pasteur Korea (IPK) is a non-profit research institute established in 2004 as part of the scientific cooperation between the Rep. of Korea and France, focusing on infectious diseases. Utilizing its core research capabilities, cell- and image-based screening platforms, to understand disease mechanisms and accelerate the development of new treatments, IPK contributes to addressing unmet global health issues, including emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19, MERS, and Zika fever, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, antibiotic resistance, cancer, and neglected diseases. By providing fundamental technologies to bridge Korean and international bio-pharma science and promote multi-disciplinary projects globally, IPK stands at the forefront of drug discovery research contributing to Korea’s scientific, intellectual, and technical resources and global infectious disease preparedness and response. IPK is a pivotal member in the Asia-Pacific Region of the Pasteur Network, consisting of 33 members located in 25 countries, driving early drug discovery.