Sandoz, Ares Genetics extend agreement to create digital sequencing, AI-assisted bioinformatics platform for surveillance, drug repurposing to fight antimicrobial drug resistance; AMR accounts for 1.3 million deaths worldwide annually

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BASEL, Switzerland , April 12, 2022 (press release) –

  • Extending existing master services agreement with Ares Genetics, to develop digital platform for development and life cycle management of antibiotics, to January 31, 2025
  • Both parties strengthening focus on antibiotic stewardship and planning to engage in AMR surveillance and efforts to repurpose existing antibiotics.
  • Collaboration focuses on next-generation sequencing (NGS) and AI-assisted bioinformatics solutions for surveillance and drug repurposing efforts

Sandoz today announces the extension and expansion until January 31, 2025 of its strategic collaboration agreement with Ares Genetics (Ares), aimed at driving cutting-edge digital solutions in the global fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The extension of the existing master services agreement with Ares, a subisidiary of OpGen Inc, reflects both companies’ recognition of the critical importance of surveillance data to inform better prescribing and use of antibiotics – a central component of the global AMR response strategy.

Sandoz CEO Richard Saynor said: “Antibiotics are the cornerstone of modern medicine. AMR, which is now estimated to directly account for nearly 1.3 million deaths worldwide every year, is an unprecedented threat to global public health. As the world’s leading provider of generic antibiotics, our goal at Sandoz is to play a key role in overcoming this growing threat.

“This collaboration is a key step towards that goal, allowing us to take the fight directly to AMR by using cutting-edge big data and AI approaches combined with traditional data sets. By combining our respective skillsets, we believe we can not only use diagnostic and surveillance data to help healthcare professionals make better diagnoses, but also expand our options to treat AMR in the future, by targeted repurposing of key antibiotics. Our ultimate goal is both simple and radical: to ensure we get the right medicine to the right patient at the right time.”

During the initial stage of the collaboration, Ares developed a digital anti-infectives platform, combining established microbiology laboratory practices with advanced bioinformatics and AI methods to support the identification of effective antimicrobial compounds or compound combinations to address critical pathogens, which Sandoz can in turn leverage to drive portfolio and commercial decisions.

In the upcoming next phase, both collaboration parties intend to focus further on antibiotic stewardship by enabling genomic surveillance for resistant pathogens, using Ares’ next-generation sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics technologies. Financial details are not being disclosed at this stage.

This media update contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by words such as “potential,” “can,” “will,” “plan,” “may,” “could,” “would,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “look forward,” “believe,” “committed,” “investigational,” “pipeline,” “launch,” or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing approvals, new indications or labeling for the investigational or approved products described in this media update, or regarding potential future revenues from such products. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the investigational or approved products described in this media update will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any particular time. Neither can there be any guarantee that, if approved, such generic or biosimilar products will be approved for all indications included in the reference product’s label. Nor can there be any guarantee that such products will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, our expectations regarding such products could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; the particular prescribing preferences of physicians and patients; competition in general, including potential approval of additional generic or biosimilar versions of such products; global trends toward health care cost containment, including government, payor and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures and requirements for increased pricing transparency; litigation outcomes, including intellectual property disputes or other legal efforts to prevent or limit Sandoz from selling its products; general political, economic and business conditions, including the effects of and efforts to mitigate pandemic diseases such as COVID-19; safety, quality, data integrity or manufacturing issues; potential or actual data security and data privacy breaches, or disruptions of our information technology systems, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this media update as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this media update as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Sandoz
Sandoz, a Novartis division, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars. Our purpose is to pioneer access for patients by developing and commercializing novel, affordable approaches that address unmet medical needs. Our ambition is to be the world’s leading and most valued generics company. Our broad portfolio of high-quality medicines, covering major therapeutic areas, accounted for 2021 sales of USD 9.6 billion.

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