Glaxo, US partnering to develop new antibiotics

GlaxoSmithKline PLC says it's starting an unusual collaboration with the U.S. government to develop several antibiotics for both bioterrorism threats and bacterial infections resistant to current medicines.

will become a , experts predict, because most drug companies have cut investment in antibiotics. Instead, they're developing more-lucrative medicines for chronic conditions or rare disorders.

Glaxo's partnership with BARDA, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority within the Health and Human Services Department, will bring the British drugmaker $40 million over the first 18 months. If their agreement is renewed over five years, that could reach a total of $200 million.

Normally, such public-private agreements cover testing of one experimental drug. Glaxo says this is the first HHS deal giving a private company flexibility to test multiple potential drugs.


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