An epidemic of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial infections plagues global and U.S. healthcare, and with few new antibiotics making it to market from a diminished pipeline, there is an unmet medical need for new therapeutics to treat drug-resistant infections. Furthermore, effective therapies are urgently needed to address ongoing public health and biosecurity concerns that high-threat select agent bacteria can be engineered to become resistant to currently available antibiotics. The goal of the Rutgers Center of Excellence for Translational Research (CETR) is to help develop a new generation of antibiotics against known MDR bacteria. The CETR is a collaborative public-private partnership involving senior investigators at Rutgers University, Rockefeller University and Cubist Pharmaceuticals. It will serve to jump-start the discovery of novel antibiotics by joining together highly creative senior researchers and providing critical core resources to turn highly promising early concept molecules into potential therapeutics suitable for clinical evaluation. The CETR will examine well-established and novel therapeutic targets, and it will facilitate target validation, chemical lead identification, structure-activity relationship analysis, pharmacokinetics and therapeutic efficacy in animal models. The goal is to develop optimized chemical lead compounds that are suitable antibiotic candidates for preclinical evaluation. Critical factors for success include the strength of highly accomplished project and core leaders, a comprehensive and highly integrated infrastructure of support cores for lead compound optimization and validation, and access to the Rutgers Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL), an NIH designated national research center for high-threat agents. Finally, the CETR leadership group is highly experienced in executing product-oriented translational research and a Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of veteran members of PhRMA and academia will guide them.
For more information about the Center to Develop Therapeutic Countermeasures to High-Threat Bacterial Agents, please visit www.njms.rutgers.edu/research/cetr