Bugworks Research set for pre-clinical drug trials

CARB-X was formed two years ago as a public-private partnership to tackle the rising menace of antibiotic resistance.

Hari Pulakkat | ET Bureau
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BENGALURU: Bugworks Research, a Bengaluru-based drug discovery startup, has moved a few steps closer to its goal of developing next-generation antibiotics. Its drug candidate is set to enter pre-clinical trials and it is getting a $3-million grant from Boston-based CARB-X, an organisation formed to fight antimicrobial resistance.

CARB-X had received 800 applications for funding support. It had chosen 50 companies for funding, of which 10 — including Bugworks — had drug candidates with entirely new mechanisms of action. “Obviously, we think very highly of Bugworks,” said Kevin Outterson, executive director of CARB-X.

CARB-X was formed two years ago as a public-private partnership to tackle the rising menace of antibiotic resistance. It has $500 million to invest in the best global science. After two years of funding, it has the largest pipeline portfolio of products to prevent life-threatening infections. Bugworks has a family of drug candidates, from which one is now being funded by CARB-X for pre-clinical development.

Bugworks has raised $11.5 million in equity funding so far. It has received Rs 2 crore from three grants from the department of biotechnology. Last year, Bugworks got a $2-million grant from CARB-X. It will now receive $3 million from the organisation and stands to bag another $2 million if it goes through the pre-clinical stage successfully.

The company had won the top innovator award at the ET Startup Awards last year.

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