Today we are reached by the final report from DRIVE-AB with the headline: “Revitalizing the Antibiotic Pipeline“. The context is that “The current pipeline for innovative antibiotics in various stages of R&D is insufficient, potentially delivering no more than one innovative antibiotic for a “critical” World Health Organization (WHO) priority pathogen within the next five years.”, the report say in the beginning. A key reason for the DRIVE-AB report is to bring recommendations and guidance in the present context, when we are facing increased antibiotic resistance on a global scale.
One of the main recommendations is that countries should increase funding for AMR.
“Countries should make long-term commitments to continue financing of antibacterial R&D and ideally increase push funding by about 50 per cent.”, states the report.
DRIVE-AB finds that: “There may be capacity within existing multinational grant funding agencies – e.g. CARB-X, GARDP, JPIAMR (Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance) – to absorb and effectively deploy more capital.”
So, we are happy to see that JPIAMR is acknowledged as a key organisation and vehicle, among others, who are trusted with the mission to fund even more research in order to harness AMR on a global scale. Since JPIAMR is coordinating research and funding for it’s 26 member nations – it fits very well to expand the operations in this direction.
The Drive-AB report continues: “Owing to the existing pipeline, much of this immediate funding should be placed in early- and mid-stage grants until the pipeline becomes more robust. Granting agencies should have specific calls for research targeting pathogens that pose the most urgent public health threats (e.g. WHO’s priority pathogens list for the discovery phase and TPPs for the development phase).”
The ongoing JPIAMR call for “New targets, compounds and tools – innovating against antibiotic resistant bacteria“, is a perfect example how countries are pooling resources and research to collaborate. This call responds to WHOs list of priority pathogens just as the report recommends.
However, funding is linked with the ability to both reach and enable researcher to apply for funds. This is something many more entities in the AMR field could collaborate on to a greater extent. If researchers are not aware of available funds and contexts to support research, we may miss opportunities to support research that can be life changing for the many.
On November 5 and 6, the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Health took place in Milan, Italy. On the agenda for the second day was antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The discussions focused on crucial topics of global health. The aim of the meeting was among else to coordinate global and concrete actions. In that context, participating Health Ministers expressed that they welcome the establishment of the Global AMR R&D Hub and call to ensure it becomes an effective platform to align and increase global investment in much needed R&D based on WHO recommendations, e.g. the Priority Pathogen List (PPL). They expressed support for the collaboration of the Global AMR R&D Hub with existing international networks and initiatives like the Interagency Coordination Group on AMR, the Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP), CARB-X and the Joint Programming Initiative on AMR (JPIAMR). G7 Health Ministers expressed support for the development of evidence-based strategies, tools and interventions to fight AMR, and sustain research related to the Strategic Objectives of the WHO Global Action Plan. As well as to promote R&D for new antimicrobials, alternative therapies, vaccines and rapid-point-of care diagnostics, in particular for WHO-defined priority pathogens and tuberculosis.
JPIAMR welcomes the G7 Health Ministers focus on global coordination, supported R&D areas and the many dimensions of Antibiotic Resistance, the impacts are real now. The actions of JPIAMRs 26 member nations concerted efforts to meet human needs- and scientific results are tangible today. JPIAMR has merged the shared Strategic Research Agenda with a One Health approach. A crucial component and strategy since antimicrobial resistance do not adhere to any boundaries. In 2018 JPIAMR launches it´s 6th call: Innovation against antibiotic resistant bacteria – New targets, compounds and tools. This as a direct response to the WHO Priority Pathogens List (PPL). Coordinating participating nations resources for funding research that targets the 12 groups of bacteria and drug-resistant tuberculosis listed by WHO.
JPIAMR also welcome the initiative of the Global AMR R&D Hub, working side by side to ensure that innovation is in focus and not duplication. Seeing that a diverse range of research and resources can match and harness AMR as the multidimensional global threat it is.
Working together makes the difference we need – to harness AMR in time.
The WHO review shows that the current clinical pipeline is still insufficient to mitigate the threat of antimicrobial resistance.
JPIAMR contributes to finding solutions to the challenges presented by WHO. JPIAMR is processing current and future calls that funds research on the very challenges highlighted in the report. Among with several ground breaking activities.
WHO points out:
- More investments needed in basic science, drug discovery and clinical development.
- Most of the agents in the pipeline are modifications of existing antibiotic classes. They are only short term solutions as they usually cannot overcome multiple existing resistance mechanisms and do not control the growing number of pan-resistant pathogens.
- More innovative products are required against pathogens with no cross- or co-resistance to existing classes.
- Although oral formulations for community diseases associated with high morbidity are essential globally, few oral antibiotics for infections caused by Gram-negative pathogens are in the pipeline.
As of May 2017, a total of 51 antibiotics (including combinations) and 11 biologicals were in the clinical pipeline with 42 new therapeutic entities (33 antibiotics and nine biologicals) that target priority pathogens, seven products for tuberculosis (TB) and nine for C.difficile infections (seven antibiotics and two biologicals) . The qualitative analysis shows a lack of potential treatment options for priority resistant bacteria, especially for multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens.
The full report is now available, please click here to view it.