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A New Pharma Initiative takes on the Antibiotic Innovation Challenge

Big Pharma exited from the antibiotics space one by one. And now they may be coming back together.

Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Merck KGaA and the American Merck — one of the last giants standing — are teaming up to create an initial $1 billion for-profit venture to bet on small biotechs developing mid-stage antibiotics.

Government officials from Germany, Sweden, France and the UK, as well as representatives from Wellcome Trust and Pew Charitable Trusts, will join the companies to announce the initiative on July 9. The World Health Organization and the European Investment Bank are also involved in what is being billed as a new solution to the “antibiotic innovation challenge.”

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