At the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP), we’re not only developing treatments for drug-resistant infections, but lifesaving antibiotics for the world’s most vulnerable, including the very young, elderly and immunocompromised. We’re acutely aware some of these groups are being hit hardest by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
Beyond the direct impact of COVID-19 for at risk groups and health systems is the potential for the pandemic to disrupt planned and ongoing research and development activities, including for antibiotics. With 700,000 people dying every year from drug-resistant infections, it is critical swift action is taken to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on the development of new treatments.
GARDP’s response includes two main strands. First, we have put in place steps to protect patients and staff and to limit transmission of the virus. GARDP has also instituted a business continuity strategy to absorb the impact of the pandemic over the longer-term.
Second, we are identifying and mitigating risks to our research and development activities. Our priority is to assess and address the impact on clinical studies, in particular on patient safety and the availability of site and laboratory staff. This is being done through ongoing conversations with our partners, including the World Health Organization.
Everything we do and have achieved is through partnerships and we thank you for your support. Only by working together as a global health community can we tackle COVID-19. We also count on your support to ensure the impact on the development of treatments for drug-resistant infections is minimized. Together, we will meet the challenges ahead.
Manica Balasegaram, BMed Sci, BMBS, DTM&H, MSc, FRCP
Executive Director, Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership