Apply to join the ENABLE-2 consortium
Open Call for new antibiotic programmes
ENABLE-2 is accepting applications from researchers at publicly-funded universities and research institutes throughout Europe. The call is for novel Hit compounds with the potential for development as direct-acting antibiotics for systemic use.
The Call is Open Continuously but to be considered for entry at the next Portfolio Management Committee (PMC) meeting in November 2023 applications should reach us before 30th September 2023. Applications received after this date will be evaluated at the following PMC meeting in the spring 2024 (date to be decided).
ENABLE-2 funding is non-dilutive. Accepted programmes will receive (free-of-charge) expert advice on development strategies (including TPPs); access to experimental platforms (chemistry, microbiology, ADMET, in vivo pharmacology, formulation, etc.) who will perform assays in collaboration with programme owners; funding to carry out approved assays, not available within the platform, at CROs; retain ownership of all data generated and retain IP rights to all new compounds developed.
ENABLE-2 is set up with a strong focus on developing small molecule programmes in the Hit to Lead stage and offers development up to a level of advancement (Lead optimization) where they have the possibility to successfully graduate to later stage initiatives (e.g., CARB-X, GARDP, REPAIR Impact Fund) or to out-licensing. ENABLE-2 currently has the capacity to develop 4-7 Hit to Lead programmes in parallel. Applications outside of this description (e.g., complex natural products, and more advanced programmes, etc.) may be accepted subject to capacity.
Compounds should target one or more of the following priority pathogens: ESBL-producing/carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (E. coli, K. pneumoniae), P. aeruginosa, A. baumannii; methicillin-resistant S. aureus; vancomycin-resistant E. faecium.
To be accepted for development compounds should have a novel mode of action which can include action at a novel target, a novel mechanism of action against a known target, or a known mechanism of action against a known target so long as there is demonstrated activity against target-based resistant strains and management of known liabilities is appropriate.
Researchers at publicly funded funded universities and research institutes in Europe (including non-EU countries such as UK, Norway, Switzerland, etc.) are eligible to submit a non-confidential three-page Expression of Interest (EoI) to the ENABLE-2 platform at email@example.com. Each EoI will be initially screened by a panel of scientific experts to evaluate its eligibility based on the programme entry thresholds (see below) and potential for further development.
EoIs passing this initial evaluation will be invited to sign a CDA and proceed to preparation of a more extensive confidential application, for presentation at the next PMC meeting where a decision will be made on entry into ENABLE-2.
PROGRAMME ENTRY THRESHOLDS
Molecules with direct mode of action targeting in-scope pathogens
- direct acting small molecules, or natural products, with potential for systemic antibiotic activity (anti-virulence, anti-biofilm compounds are not in scope)
- potentiator molecules may be in scope (e.g. beta-lactamase inhibitors)
- activity against resistant clinical strains
- single pathogen spectrum possible
Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ≤ 16 μg/mL vs. at least one of the key ENABLE-2 pathogens
- E. coli, K. pneumoniae, P. aeruginosa, A. baumannii, S. aureus, E. faecium
- evidence that antibacterial activities are specific (activity not due to broad cytotoxicity, e.g., detergents)
Potential for optimization
- proven chemical structure and preliminary Structure–Activity Relationship
- reasonable route of synthesis (or proven availability if a natural product)
- favorable chemical properties
IP situation/Freedom to operate (essential for entry)
- clear legal/IP situation (applicant must have ownership of compound and freedom to operate)
Interesting programmes but lacking some key data
- programmes that meet most of the entry requirements but lack some key data may still be able to present to the ENABLE-2 PMC following a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) route.
- the MTA route allows ENABLE-2 to generate missing data on the novel compound or series (e.g., MIC against resistant isolates of different species, haemolysis and cytotoxicity against human cell lines) with the possibility of submitting a full data data package to the PMC.
Anders Karlén, Coordinator, Professor
Uppsala University (SE)
firstname.lastname@example.org, +46 (0)70-167 9177