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GlaxoSmithKline Awarded U.S. Department of Defense Contract to Pursue Novel Antibacterial Research Program
Date:9/18/2007

GSK Increases Research Effort to Target Drug-Resistant Gram Negative

Pathogens

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) today announced that it has signed an agreement with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), to identify and develop a new class of antibacterials targeting both Gram negative biothreats and conventional Gram negative hospital pathogens. The agreement awards GSK up to $41 million over a five-year period, while GSK will contribute substantially to this collaborative effort by providing supplemental staff and by covering other program costs.

The research will focus on such Gram negative pathogens as Pseudomonas, Klebsiella and Acinetobacter, which are increasingly resistant to all known classes of antibiotics. These bacteria can cause a significant health threat to patients, particularly those in intensive care units. Gram negative infection is associated with an increase in morbidity, and in severe cases can lead on to septic shock and an increase in mortality. Though there are antibiotics in development from established classes, there is only one novel class systemic agent in clinical trials to address this mounting problem.

"The Department of Defense is excited about the opportunity of teaming with GSK and leveraging their capabilities and resources to develop antibacterial compounds for Gram negative biothreat agents," said Lieutenant Colonel Calvin Carpenter at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. "This research is needed to identify and deliver antibacterials from entirely new classes to defend against potential biothreat outbreaks and hospital-acquired infections."

The challenge of developing new antibacterial treatments is compounded by the fact that Gram negative bacteria are difficult to attack because they have an outer membrane surrounding the bacterial cell wall that interferes with drug penet
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SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline
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