GENEVA AND BERLIN – The Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP) is pleased to receive a EUR 50 million investment from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). This funding is already contributing to accelerating the discovery, development, and delivery of affordable new and improved antibiotics to treat Gram-negative infections affecting both adults and children.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major and rapidly growing global public health concern, with estimates of up to 700,000 deaths per year.1 Serious bacterial infections, and in particular Gram-negative infections, have been identified by the World Health Organization as a global public health priority. The investment from BMBF will fund GARDP’s efforts to tackle infectious diseases that threaten public health by driving the development of treatments while endeavoring to ensure their sustainable access.
BMBF’s investment provides vital support for GARDP’s current focus on Gram-negative sexually-transmitted infections, newborns with sepsis, and paediatric infections. This responds to diverse challenges ranging from the alarming rise of gonorrhoea strains resistant to all existing treatments in several countries,2 to the deaths of an estimated 214,000 newborns every year attributable to drug-resistant infections.3 BMBF’s funding also supports GARDP’s Research & Development strategy to build a portfolio of new drugs, recover knowledge, data and assets of forgotten or abandoned antibiotics and champion a new generation of researchers through an educational component.
“I am delighted that the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is providing leadership in addressing AMR. AMR is not a hypothetical threat. Developing new treatments to tackle AMR now is an important global priority, particularly those that target Gram-negative infections and populations that are less likely to be developed by others,” said Dr Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director of GARDP. “Our approach is to develop a drug from any point from early exploratory to preclinical and clinical studies all the way to patients. Critically, we are also embedding access and stewardship measures from the beginning in our R&D strategies.“
“Many people worldwide are suffering from infections that can no longer be treated because the pathogens are resistant to antibiotics. We are also facing this problem in Germany. This is why we are committed to tackling the health challenge of antimicrobial resistance. We need new, effective antibiotics, diagnostics and prevention measures against resistant microbes. We are advocating a better global coordination of AMR research and development activities and extending our support for a number of national and international research initiatives. We are convinced that GARDP’s Research & Development Strategy will provide urgently needed treatments against infections affecting the world’s most vulnerable populations,” said Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek.
GARDP is a not-for-profit research and development organization that addresses global public health needs by developing and delivering new or improved antibiotic treatments, while endeavouring to ensure their sustainable access. Initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative (DNDi), GARDP is an important element of WHO’s Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance that calls for new public-private partnerships to encourage research and development of new antimicrobial agents and diagnostics.
1 O’Neill, J. (Chair) (2016). Tackling drug-resistance globally: Final Report and recommendations. Available: here
2 Wi, T. et al. (2017). Antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae: Global surveillance and a call for international collaborative action. PLOS Medicine: Jul 7;14(7):e1002344.
3 Laxminarayan, R. et al. (2016). Access to effective antimicrobials: a worldwide challenge. The Lancet: 387; 168-75.
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