GENEVA – The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) and the University of Queensland are today announcing an expansion of their partnership to tackle the growing global threat of serious bacterial infections.
As Australia and the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of dangerous secondary hospital infections grows. Bacteria can enter the body through surgery sites, ventilators and catheters, potentially leading to lung, urinary tract, abdominal and bloodstream infections.
University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR) Director Professor David Paterson said the collaboration with GARDP was a valuable opportunity to evaluate new and existing antibiotic treatments, with the goal of combating antimicrobial resistance.
“We are very pleased to combine UQCCR’s research expertise in antimicrobials and clinical trials with GARDP’s clinical expertise and sustainable access commitment,” he said. “Collaborations like this help to ensure that cutting-edge clinical research has the best chance of generating potentially life-changing treatments for those who need it most.”
Globally, there is an alarming increase in deaths caused by drug-resistant bacterial infections. New antibiotics are urgently needed for a number of pathogens. An estimated 700,000 people die from drug-resistant infections each year and the most vulnerable include babies and children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
GARDP and the UQCCR led by Prof Paterson will explore opportunities to collaborate on various projects including the design of antibiotic clinical trials to be conducted globally, including in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. They will also identify ways to develop clinical and laboratory networks in resource-poor settings, and set up training programmes on clinical epidemiology and clinical microbiology to evaluate antibiotic treatments.
“Partnerships are at the heart of GARDP’s work in tackling drug-resistant infections,” said Seamus O’Brien, Research and Development Director at GARDP. “We are very excited to strengthen our relationship with the University of Queensland. They are a key partner in Australia with global impact and together we will maximize our quest to develop new treatments to fight serious bacterial infections.”
The new partnership with University of Queensland builds on GARDP’s collaboration since 2018 with the Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery, which has been screening compound libraries at University of Queensland in search of new antibiotics to treat the priority drug-resistant infections identified by the World Health Organization.
University of Queensland and GARDP are both founding participants in the new Australian Research Council Research Hub to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance which is a national initiative of Australian research institutions and biotechnology companies developing tools to control drug-resistant infections.
The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) is a not-for-profit organization developing new treatments for drug-resistant infections that pose the greatest threat to health. Established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative (DNDi) in 2016, GARDP is a core element of WHO’s Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. We were created 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, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, as well as Médecins Sans Frontières and private foundations. www.gardp.org
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