Geneva – The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) welcomes today’s announcement by 20 pharmaceutical companies to invest US$1 billion to accelerate the development of innovative antibiotics that target public health priorities. The creation of the AMR Action Fund comes as declining private investment and lack of innovation in the development of new antibiotics have undermined efforts to combat drug-resistant infections and made the delivery of healthcare difficult.
“Lack of effective antibiotics due to drug resistance is a public health crisis,” said Seamus O’Brien, R&D Director at GARDP. “The funding provides an opportunity to boost the antibiotic development pipeline, particularly for treatments against priority drug-resistant infections. The fund will complement GARDP’s work, which focuses on developing and delivering critically needed treatments to fight drug-resistant infections that pose the greatest threat to health and making them available to all people who need them.”
The fund is expected to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) developing new antibiotics and help support the significant cost of clinical trials. “However, we are also very concerned about the ‘valley of death’ that exists after marketing approval,” said Dr O’Brien. “Getting a drug approved is only the first piece of the puzzle. The second, and most important piece, is to ensure that the drugs reach the patients and ultimately save lives. Unfortunately this critical phase remains largely underfunded and therefore neglected as current market revenues are not sufficient.”
There remains an access gap whereby newly developed and certain existing antibiotics are not accessible to those who need them, leading to higher mortality rates and increased healthcare costs. For this reason, GARDP focuses on late stage clinical development and aims to ensure the treatments are used responsibly and made accessible to those who need them, including in low- and middle-income countries. We work with public and private partners to develop treatments targeting unmet clinical needs and populations disproportionally affected by drug resistance, notably children.
Antibiotic resistance is a global public health threat that no single country, sector or company can fight alone. Public-private partnerships are needed to discover, develop, manufacture and make the drugs accessible to patients.
“The public sector, notably governments, must step up and not only increase support for antibiotic development, but help secure a sustainable supply of treatments in the long-term,” said Dr O’Brien. “We look forward to engaging with the AMR Action Fund and continuing to partner with the public and private sectors to prevent drug-resistant infections from becoming the next global health emergency.”
To combat the growing antibiotic crisis, GARDP’s 5 BY 25 goal seeks to develop five new treatments by 2025 to tackle drug-resistant bacteria identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as posing the greatest threat to health and urgently requiring new antibiotics. We are developing treatments for sexually transmitted infections, sepsis in newborns and infections in hospitalized adults and children.
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. GARDP was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in 2016 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, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, as well as Médecins Sans Frontières and private foundations. www.gardp.org