Go, BARDA! / Outstanding Op-Ed in Forbes by Rick Bright

Dear All:

Rick Bright, Director of BARDA, posted an outstanding commentary (link) in Forbes on 10 May 2019 on the Achaogen story (for more background, see my prior Scary/Scarier/Scariest blogs #1 and #2). Here are three excerpts from his commentary:

  • “Since 2010, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has been a leader in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, providing scientific, technical and financial support of over $1.1 billion. 
  • “…the Achaogen story exposes the limited impact that current strategies have on addressing institutional barriers to successful development and commercialization of critically needed antibiotics. This emerging scenario is not unique to Achaogen. 
  • “BARDA simply cannot continue to provide non-dilutive investment, only to have companies collapse and their newly minted antibiotics shelved or lost completely. We will focus on bold ideas and new partnerships, utilizing its (BARDA’s) unique authorities to stimulate innovation, streamline R&D and successfully commercialize critically needed antibiotics.”

I agree wholeheartedly! As also discussed by Jeremy Farrar in his 21 Apr 2019 commentary in the Financial Times (link), the bankruptcy of Achaogen is an important lesson for the whole community. Fingers crossed for significant new funding so that BARDA can drive both push and pull for new antibiotics.

All best wishes, –jr

John H. Rex, MD | Chief Medical Officer, F2G Ltd. | Expert-in-Residence, Wellcome Trust. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnRex_NewAbx. See past newsletters and subscribe for the future: https://13.43.35.2/blog/

Upcoming meetings of interest to the AMR community:

  • 20 May 2019 (everywhere): Application deadline for NIAID solicitation (HHS-NIH-NIAID-BAA2019-1) for proposals to support new vaccine or therapeutics candidates targeting antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. Go here for more details.
  • 3-6 Jun 2019 (Philadelphia): Annual BIO meeting
  • 20-24 June 2019 (San Francisco): Annual ASM Microbe meeting.
  • 10-11 Jul 2019 (Madison, WI): Tiny Earth Symposium, a teaching consortium that uses crowd-sourcing of antibiotic-producing microbes to improve undergraduate education. Details here.
  • 12 July 2019 (FDA, White Oak Campus): Public workshop to discuss the 2018 LPAD guidance. Register here.
  • [Mark your calendar now!] 3-6 Sep 2019 (Boston). Annual ASM-ESCMID Conference on Antibiotic Development. The Bootcamp series will continue on 3 Sep with main meeting on 4-6 Sep. Mark your calendar now and check back here for details.
  • 6-8 Sep 2019 (Bilbao, Spain): 5th ESCMID conference on Vaccines. Check back here for details.
  • 2-6 Oct 2019 (Washington, DC): IDSA’s annual IDWeek meeting.
  • 19-27 Oct 2019 (Annecy, France): International Course on Antibiotics and Resistance (ICARe) – A soup-to-nuts intensive residential training program on all things AMR, especially R&D for new antibiotics. See this link for details.
  • 1-6 Mar 2020 (Il Ciocco, Tuscany, Italy): GRC on Antibacterial Discovery and Development: “Now is the time to re-boot antibiotic R&D before it’s too little, too late.” Go here for details.
  • 12-13 Mar 2020 (Berlin?): BEAM-, Novo REPAIR-, CARB-X-, DZIF-, ND4BB-, ENABLE-supported (among a long list!) Conference on Novel Antimicrobials and AMR Diagnostics. Final location is TBD, details will appear here, and you should mark your calendar now. 
  • 16-17 Mar 2020 (London): BSAC Spring Conference entitled: “Bridging the gap between science, policy and effective antimicrobial use.” Go here for details. 
  • 18-21 Apr 2020 (Paris): Annual ECCMID meeting (#30)
  • 10-13 Apr 2021 (Vienna): Annual ECCMID meeting (#31)

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