GENEVA – The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) is now an independent legal entity following a successful three-year incubation, hosted by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). During this time, GARDP has already begun working with partners to develop antibiotics to tackle drug-resistant infections which pose a threat to global health and development, including the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Launched in 2016 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the non-profit research and development (R&D) organization DNDi, GARDP is an important element of WHO’s Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). During its incubation, and through the generous support of donors and partners, GARDP has built a skilled and dedicated team with expertise from a range of sectors and backgrounds led by a Board of Directors comprising leading international experts in the global health arena.
In the last three years, GARDP has formed numerous partnerships with industry, academia and research institutions in support of its clinical programmes to develop antibiotics for drug-resistant infections for children, newborns with sepsis, and sexually-transmitted infections. These collaborations span the drug development lifecycle and include screening chemical libraries for antibacterial activity, assessing the viability of potential antibiotic candidates, and the completion of three clinical trials. Of particular significance is the pivotal, Phase III global clinical trial GARDP is sponsoring for a novel, first-in-class antibiotic to treat gonorrhoea commencing later this year.
GARDP’s Chair of the Board, Professor Ramanan Laxminarayan, said: “GARDP’s provenance from WHO and DNDi, and its significant progress in the last three years have positioned it well to play a key role in helping bring new antibacterials to market. GARDP is also focused on ensuring that we have access to affordable and effective antibacterials for generations to come. On behalf of the GARDP board, I thank DNDi and WHO for their leadership and support during the early years and look forward to the next phase in GARDP’s journey.”
Built on the shared missions of WHO and DNDi, GARDP draws its strength from both WHO’s mandate to drive the global response to AMR and set health priorities, and DNDi’s expertise in harnessing partnerships with the public and private sectors, and building a pipeline for public health needs-driven R&D.
As GARDP’s host, DNDi provided GARDP with its initial governance and support necessary for an effective start-up phase. Going forward, based on a shared commitment to public health-driven R&D and access, DNDi and GARDP will continue to collaborate, sharing specialized R&D expertise and capacity, policy advocacy expertise, and some infrastructure and support services to drive efficiencies. In-country implementation of GARDP’s programmes will be supported by DNDi’s regional network and a joint DNDi GARDP office in Southern Africa.
“We’re proud to have provided the environment to enable GARDP to kickstart its mission to deliver antimicrobial research for patients,” said Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, DNDi Board Chair. “DNDi and GARDP have a shared vision of public health-needs driven research and development that ensures equitable and sustainable access to affordable treatments. We look forward to strong collaboration in sharing resources and knowledge with GARDP in the future, for the ultimate benefit of the populations served by GARDP and DNDi.”
GARDP will also continue its close collaboration with WHO, leveraging WHO’s expertise and leadership in determining public health priorities, developing target product profiles, stewardship and access, regional networks, as well as access to Member States.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said: “The rise of drug-resistant bacteria is jeopardizing decades of progress and threatening our ability to prevent and treat infections that were once easy to treat. As one of GARDP’s founders, WHO is committed to continue supporting GARDP and its growing ambitions to tackle one of the biggest threats to global health. GARDP is an essential element of delivering the Global Action Plan on AMR.”
GARDP looks forward to working closely with its founding partners as it enters the next phase in its development. The continued collaboration will help ensure that GARDP’s efforts contribute to a world where antibiotic treatments are developed for all those who need them.
The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (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.
A not-for-profit research and development organization, DNDi works to deliver new treatments for neglected diseases, including leishmaniasis, filarial infections, human African trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease, and mycetoma, and for neglected patients, including paediatric HIV patients and people living with hepatitis C virus who cannot access treatment due to high costs. DNDi has delivered eight new treatments to date, including new drug combinations for visceral leishmaniasis, two fixed-dose antimalarials, and DNDi’s first successfully developed new chemical entity, fexinidazole, approved in 2018 for the treatment of both stages of sleeping sickness. www.dndi.org
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