CLSI hosts CARB-X Information and Networking Session in San Diego
CLSI hosted a CARB-X Information Session and networking event with event sponsor Vir Biotechnology on Thursday May 3 in San Diego. The purpose of the event was to bring together the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) community in the Bay Area, provide information about the CARB-X process and what’s in scope for the 2018 funding round in June, and highlight the range of support available to CARB-X companies. There were 110 people in attendance, including executives from infectious disease therapeutic and diagnostic companies, professors from research institutes and universities, expert advisors and investors from San Diego and the Bay Area and as far as New York, Melbourne and Montreal.
George Scangos, CEO of Vir, welcomed the audience and made opening remarks. Scangos joined Vir in 2017 because he wanted to take on some of the world’s most challenging infectious diseases. Vir has amassed over $500 million in funding and plans to move several compounds into clinical development in the next year-and-a-half.
Heather Shane, Executive Director of the CARB-X accelerator at CLSI, provided an overview of CARB-X progress since launch and CLSI’s role in connecting companies to subject matter experts, academic research institutions, funding sources, downstream partners and many other resources in the life science ecosystem. A key tenet of the successful FAST accelerator upon which CLSI’s support to CARB-X portfolio companies is modeled is customized support, and Ms. Shane provided real examples of how the CLSI network has helped CARB-X portfolio companies and pre-X companies (future CARB-X prospects) overcome obstacles, connect to resources and gain valued advisory support.
Victor Nizet, Professor at UCSD, discussed AMR capabilities and expertise at UCSD, highlighting the CHARM (Collaborative to Halt Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes) Initiative, an interdisciplinary program launched in 2016 to support a wide range of innovative scientific and outreach strategies to address AMR in clinical medicine and public health. Nizet has served as an advisor to various CARB-X portfolio companies. Andrew Hollands, Group Leader, Infectious Diseases at InhibRx, presented on InhibRx’s CARB-X project, a novel antibody to prevent and treat pseudomonas infections.