News Feature | April 28, 2014

Rutgers Antibiotics Grant Could Be As Much As $26 Million

By Marcus Johnson


Rutgers New Jersey Medical School has announced that it has received a five year grant that could amount to as much as $26 million. The grant was given by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health. Devid Perlin, the executive director of the Public Health Research Institute at Rutgers will lead research to develop new forms of antibiotics that combat the increasing levels of drug resistant bacteria. The grant will allow Perlin to participate in the Centers of Excellence for Translational Research (CETR) program, in which public and private researchers come together to find solutions for dangerous bacteria that have become drug resistant.

“We are poised for a new era of antimicrobial discovery,” says Perlin. “By joining together leading researchers from academia and the commercial sector in a highly interactive collaborative partnership, and providing comprehensive resources that support drug discovery, we can overcome many of the barriers that limit antibiotic development and begin to reinvigorate the drug pipeline.”

Nearly 23,000 people die in the United States each year from bacterial infections resistant to antibiotic drugs. Industry experts have said that due to the lack of drugs currently being developed, many of those infections have become extremely difficult to treat.

CETR will provide researchers with strong resources for developing concept molecules which can later be incorporated into the clinical trials setting. The biopharmaceutical company Cubist will have a large presence in the collaborative research, as will the Institute for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases at New Jersey Medical School. In addition to developing new antibiotic drugs, Perlin and his research team will focus on finding new ways to design antibiotics that are less susceptible to future bacterial resistance.