GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP), the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), and the World Health Organization (WHO) have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore joint initiatives that could improve the sustainable access to antibiotics and protect them against the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), with an initial focus on sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
New drugs alone will not address the rapid rise in STIs, including drug-resistant gonorrhoea. Gonorrhoea has progressively developed resistance to globally recommended treatments and has been identified by WHO as a priority infection urgently requiring new antibiotics. It is essential the organizations work to ensure that these drugs can be accessed responsibly by everyone who needs them, for example through the use of affordable point-of-care tests.
The three key areas the organizations will focus on are strengthening STI case management, by fostering access to new tests and treatments for STIs in line with WHO evidenced-based guidelines and nationally adapted guidelines; evaluating public health needs for new tests and treatments for gonorrhoea, to assess appropriate use and stewardship; and defining strategies to monitor and delay the emergence of resistance to gonorrhoea treatments.
FIND is currently working with partners to develop two new point-of-care tests for the rapid identification of gonorrhoea to support antibiotic stewardship. GARDP is currently working with partners to develop a new treatment for gonorrhoea. WHO and FIND have developed target product profiles for point-of-care tests for the diagnosis of gonorrhoea, and for the detection of resistance and susceptibility markers to existing and upcoming antibiotics in resource-constrained settings.
WHO has also developed a target product profile for urgently needed new treatments for gonorrhoea that is guiding GARDP in the development of new drugs; and is developing new consolidated STI guidelines to ensure new innovations can be quickly moved from science to policy to action.
The agreement follows a successful joint webinar that took place on 23 November 2020, on innovation to address AMR in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
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The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) is a Swiss not-for-profit organization developing new treatments for drug-resistant infections that pose the greatest threat to health. GARDP was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in 2016 to ensure that everyone who needs antibiotics receives effective and affordable treatment, no matter where they live. We aim to develop five new treatments by 2025 to fight drug-resistant infections, focusing on sexually transmitted infections, sepsis in newborns and infections in hospitalized adults and children. GARDP is funded by the governments of Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, as well as Médecins Sans Frontières and private foundations. GARDP is registered under the legal name GARDP Foundation. www.gardp.org