GlaxoSmithKline receives federal contract to develop anthrax antibiotic

GlaxoSmithKline has been awarded a federal contract worth up to $94.5 million to develop a new antibiotic to combat threats like plague and anthrax.
GSK will initially receive $38.5 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority over two years, which will be directed to the research and development of experimental antibiotic known as GSK2251052.
GSK2250152, also known as GSK'052, is a boron-based antibacterial from Anacor Pharmaceuticals' boron chemistry platform. GSK entered a research and development collaboration with Anacor in 2007. GSK'052 was the first compound that came from the collaboration that GSK licensed.
“We welcome this agreement with BARDA, which will support the development of GSK2251052 and important research into medical countermeasures for bioterrorism,” David Payne, the head of antibacterial drug discovery at GSK, said. “Such innovative public-private collaborations provide an additional stimulus for anti-bacterial research and development.”
GSK'052 targets the bacterial enzyme leucyl tRNA synthetase. Additional financing could be available if BARDA exercises options for future funding, which could bring the total value of the award to $94.5 million.
BARDA is a division within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that supports the advanced development of countermeasures that address emerging disease threats to public health.