International Research Alliance for Antibiotic Discovery and Development


Research Network: 2019-01-01 - 2021-03-31
Total sum awarded: €50 000

The IRAADD network includes internationally renowned groups with excellent records of accomplishment in AMR research focussing on early stages of antibiotic discovery and development. This expert team will include natural products researchers, medical microbiologists, bioinformaticians, medicinal chemists and target-based drug designers, as well advisory partners from global alliances focussing on antibiotic development such as DNDi/GARDP and IMI-ENABLE. The partners of the network will set up a cooperative platform that will allow the sharing of scientific research data, translational knowledge and expert advice for the strategic development of new and advanced projects with the aim to take collaborative scientific research in the early stages of antibiotics discovery and development to a new level. IRAADD believes that such an integrative research network with international outreach will be an important step forward to close the gap in translational drug development, which has been lasting for several decades. IRAADD will represent a consortium of leaders from academia and other sectors who will actively address the worldwide concern of spreading AMR. While this crisis is steadily expanding, research and development of novel antibiotics is inhibited because of underfinanced discovery and development projects prior to the preclinical trial phase, which are essential to provide new and innovative antibiotics for saving patient lives today and in future. In addition, there is currently no network available to leverage the ideas and projects of academic groups, which typically do not move forward towards application. Thus, our initiative aligns with the current “One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance” introduced by the European Commission, which explicitly demands the implementation and support of “research into the development of new antimicrobials” and the establishment of sustainable research networks in this area. However, IRAADD strongly believes that the current situation and available institutions do not efficiently allow for a coordination and coaching especially of academic partners regarding translation of urgently required research on novel antibiotics into clinical use.

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  • Rolf Müller, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany (Coordinator)
  • Philippe Chaignon, University of Strasbourg, France (Observer)
  • Heike Broetz-Oesterhelt, University of Tübingen, Germany (Observer)
  • Helge Bode, University of Frankfurt, Germany (Observer)
  • Jörn Kalinowski, Bielefeld University, Germany (Observer)
  • Mark Brönstrup, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany (Observer)
  • Achim Hoerauf, University Hospital Bonn, Germany (Observer)
  • Andriy Luzhetskyy, Saarland University, Germany (Observer)
  • Tanja Schneider, University of Bonn, Germany (Observer)
  • Wolfgang Wohlleben, University of Tübingen, Germany (Observer)
  • Violetta Cecchetti, University of Perugia, Italy (Observer)
  • Youming Zhang, Shandong University, China (Observer)
  • Stefano Donadio, NAICONS Srl, Italy (Observer)
  • Marco Pieroni, University of Parma, Italy (Observer)
  • Gilles van Wezel, Leiden University, Netherlands (Observer)
  • Maarten van Dongen, AMR Insights, Netherlands (Observer)
  • Marnix Medema, Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands (Observer)
  • Atanas Atanasov, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland (Observer)
  • Rui Moreira, University of Lisbon, Portugal (Observer)
  • Hrvoje Petkovic, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (Observer)
  • Valerie Mizrahi, University of Cape Town, South Africa (Observer)
  • Tilmann Weber, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark (Observer)
  • Olga Genilloud, Fundación MEDINA, Spain (Observer)
  • Anders Karlén, Uppsala University, Sweden (Observer)
  • Jörn Piel, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (Observer)
  • Jean-Louis Reymond, University of Bern, Switzerland (Observer)
  • Eriko Takano, University of Manchester, United Kingdom (Observer)
  • Barrie Wilkinson, John Innes Centre, United Kingdom (Observer)
  • Ian Gilbert, University of Dundee, United Kingdom (Observer)
  • Ingo Autenrieth, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany (Observer)
  • Philippe Glaser, Institut Pasteur, France (Observer)
  • Kira Weissman, Université de Lorraine, France (Observer)
  • Bertrand Aigle, Université de Lorraine, France (Observer)
  • Jean-Luc Pernodet, Université Paris-Saclay, France (Observer)
  • Yanyan Li, CNRS, France (Observer)
  • Yves Louis Janin, Institut Pasteur, France (Observer)

The IRAADD Network under the umbrella of JPIAMR-VRI (see also aims to promote and accelerate translational science in the early stages of novel antibiotic discovery and lead candidate development. The areas of research we would like to leverage include hit identification and hit-to-lead programs, aiming at novel preclinical candidate nominations. These initial stages of drug development are essential to find and validate novel drug candidates, which are effective to fight AMR. However, such early-stage projects are mainly embedded within the academic sector and are greatly underfunded. Partnering with external funders, e.g. from pharmaceutical industry, is in most scenarios only realistic after nomination of preclinical lead candidates, which most often cannot be achieved by academic funding and infrastructures alone. IRAADD will also work on developing strategies for an increased awareness of the need for novel antimicrobial therapeutics mainly within the public sector in order to enhance chances of sustainable funding for the initial phases of anti-infective drug development. Several global health organizations and public-private partnerships do currently address this gap, but still fail to help academic researchers to efficiently translate their findings into novel and useful therapeutic products. Thus, IRAADD will devise blueprints together with stakeholders in industry and politics that shall serve as a guidance how to overcome this severe funding problem, which would be a big step forward to boost the production of new antibiotics and to improve the global situation of spreading AMR. These aims are also in line with the current “One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance”, introduced by the European Commission, which explicitly demands for the implementation and support of “research into the development of new antimicrobials” and the establishment of sustainable research networks in this area.