On the 21st of September, the UN General Assembly convened to discuss on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) for the first time. Representatives from 193 countries signed a declaration to “Act on AMR”, which signals a strong commitment to curb the global overuse of medicines to treat disease.

Since 2010, the Joint Programming Initiative on antimicrobial resistance, JPIAMR, has coordinated research funding in the field of antimicrobial resistance, in order to allow greater impact and avoid duplication of research. Today, JPIAMR includes more than twenty actively participating countries. While initially only Europe-based, JPIAMR has recently expanded globally to Argentina, Israel and Canada.

“We are very pleased that awareness of antimicrobial resistance has now been lifted to the global level. International cooperation is essential in this matter. JPIAMR will be engaging with more countries outside Europe, making it an ideal platform for global coordination of AMR research”, says Chairman of JPIAMR, Carlos Segovia.

Much of the content in the UN Declaration is consistent with the work already done by JPIAMR. Carlos Segovia is happy about this, but wants to see well-defined priorities:

“Several points of the declaration touch on aspects that our initiatives have already succeeded in achieving – including creating and implement national plans. We wish, however, for an even stronger focus on how the different countries should coordinate their research funding in prioritized areas.”

Through JPIAMR’s funding initiatives, more than 50M EUR has been distributed for research on new antimicrobials and therapies as well as on transmission mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance. The program also finances ten networks that address various policy issues regarding antimicrobial resistance including diagnostics or interventions.

Next year, the efforts will be intensified with additional grants for research on combating antimicrobial resistance. In January, JPIAMR is going to launch a new call for proposals on AMR Interventions with a budget of over 10M EUR.