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A budding transatlantic initiative devoted to developing new antibiotics is investing up to $48 million over the next three years in nearly a dozen small companies that are working on what could become the first new class of treatment in decades.

Carb-X, which was created last summer with funds from the US government and a public-private partnership in the UK, describes this as the first phase in a five-year campaign during which time up to $450 million is expected to be invested in getting at least two new antibiotics into human trials.

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