G20 Health Ministers highlight urgent need to develop new antimicrobials to tackle resistance

21 August 2023

Geneva, 21 August 2023: The Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP) and Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) jointly welcome the G20 Health Ministers’ Outcome Document, which underscores the urgent need to develop new antimicrobials, including antibiotics, to help tackle the growing global health crisis caused by antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The document specifically cites global international non-profit initiatives, such as CARB-X, GARDP and SECURE, as playing a critical role in accelerating antimicrobial R&D and access.

“AMR continues to be treated as a market failure. But most importantly it is a public health failure,” said Peter Beyer, GARDP’s Deputy Executive Director. “We welcome the G20 outcome document and thank current donors for their support. Push and pull funding are both necessary to replenish the global antibiotic pipeline, and most importantly, to ensure that new antibiotics reach the most vulnerable, particularly women, children and newborns.”

GARDP and CARB-X greatly value the G20 Health Ministers’ leadership in addressing the growing threat of AMR, which is estimated to have caused nearly 1.3 million deaths in 2019, more than HIV/AIDS or malaria in that same year.

“Because the clinical pipeline of antibacterial products is insufficient, it is critical that we unite with governments and partners around the world to accelerate the early development of new life-saving antibiotics, vaccines and rapid diagnostics that are designed to help patients everywhere,” said Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Law at Boston University. “We are grateful to the G20 Health Ministers for recognizing the global threat of drug-resistant infections, and prioritizing resources to save lives and strengthen global economies.”

The G20 document also highlights the need to ensure a sustainable supply of existing treatments and their appropriate use, while underscoring the importance of push and pull mechanisms to accelerate research and development (R&D) efforts and revitalize the antibiotics market.

CARB-X searches globally for early antibacterial products to accelerate toward completion of first-in-human trials, providing scientific and technical support in addition to funding.

GARDP’s work focuses on ensuring that new treatments are not only developed but are also accessible to those who need them. Critical to this work is SECURE, an initiative led by GARDP and the World Health Organization (WHO), along with other partners, which will fill a critical gap in global access to antibiotics.

SECURE aims to increase sustainable, equitable, and appropriate access to a quality-assured antibiotic portfolio driven by public health and clinical needs by leveraging financial tools, procurement strategies, and stewardship strengthening. Plans are underway to launch SECURE in an initial set of participating countries in 2024.