GENEVA – The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) is pleased to announce £1 million investment from the Wellcome Trust. This funding will contribute to accelerating the global development and delivery of affordable antibiotic treatments for drug-resistant bacterial infections.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global concern and an important public health priority. GARDP focuses its research and development efforts towards meeting priority infectious diseases that threaten public health. Of great concern, for example, is the estimated 214,000 deaths every year in newborns attributable to drug-resistant infections.1 In addition, the incidence of drug-resistant sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea are also on the increase, with strains of gonorrhoea resistant to all existing treatments appearing in several countries. The funding from the Wellcome Trust allows GARDP to further build its scientific strategy, develop specific projects including on sepsis and gonorrhoea.
“Antimicrobial resistance is not a hypothetical threat to be addressed in the future. It is an important cause of mortality globally today, and a major barrier to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular the target to reduce preventable deaths in children under-five,” said Dr Manica Balasegaram, Director of GARDP. “We are grateful to the Wellcome Trust for their support of our efforts to boost the delivery and development of antibiotics.“
The support from the Wellcome Trust means the Trust joins other private and public funders in their support of GARDP’s efforts to tackle the global problem of AMR, including the governments of Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and non-profit humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders.
Dr Tim Jinks, Head of Wellcome’s Drug-resistant Infections Programme said: “New antibiotic treatments are vital as part of global efforts to stop the rise and spread of superbugs – which already kill around 700,000 people worldwide each year. GARDP’s support for research to develop new treatments, improve existing treatments and ensure they are made available to all patients who need them worldwide, will be hugely important as part of this. Wellcome’s funding forms part of our wider work and commitment to speed progress on addressing this urgent health threat.”
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 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.
1 Laxminarayan, R., et al. (2016). Access to effective antimicrobials: a worldwide challenge. The Lancet: 387; 168-75.
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