Send a note to your congressman/woman today!

Dear All,

If you are a US citizen, you have an opportunity right now (as in today/tomorrow) to push for the inclusion of the DISARM Act in the COVID-19 bill(s) currently being circulated in Congress. As a reminder, DISARM is the legislation that would reimburse QIDP antimicrobials in the hospital setting outside of the DRG system at 100% of ASP (Averages Sales Price). It’s not a perfect fix, but it is a start towards a level playing field for novel agents.

If you want to take action, here’s how:

You could also get this information in an integrated fashion from IDSA: Go to http://cqrcengage.com/idsociety/?6 and enter your zipcode to get a pictures and contact data for your Senator and Representative.

A simple message will do: Introduce yourself, note that antibacterials are key to supporting patients with COVID-19, explain that companies are going out of business due to the broken economics of antibiotics, thank them for the GAIN Act, and then encourage them to support inclusion of the DISARM Act in the COVID-19 legislation. Here’s the message that I am sending:

Dear xxx: Many thanks for your service in Congress during these difficult days. By way of introduction, I am a board-certified internist and Infectious Disease specialist who has spent > 30 years working to develop the types of drugs needed to treat lethal infections.

I write today to encourage you to support inclusion of the DISARM Act in the final COVID-19 legislation. As you will recall, Congress passed the GAIN Act into law in 2012 as a support for antibiotics. This was a good first step but more is now urgently needed.

Specifically, we need drugs both for the virus and for secondary infections that follow the virus. Antibiotics are the fire extinguishers of medicine but the global pipeline of novel antibiotics is dangerously thin because of the broken economics of antibiotics. As a demonstration of this, the companies supporting 6 of the 16 antibiotics approved since 2009 (the time when a global push for new antibiotics began in earnest) have now gone bankrupt or sold for cash on hand. 

My request is simple: Please support the DISARM Act … all of our lives are at stake.

Sincerely, <signature>

The DISARM Act was included in the Senate Majority Leader’s bill last week but then taken out over the weekend. We need every US ID physician and everybody involved in antibiotic R&D to pick up the phone or send an email tomorrow.

All best wishes, –jr

John H. Rex, MD | Chief Medical Officer, F2G Ltd. | Operating Partner, Advent Life Sciences. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnRex_NewAbx. See past newsletters and subscribe for the future: https://amr.solutions/blog/. All opinions are my own.

Current funding opportunities:

  • Open now through 9 Apr 2020: NIAID Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) soliciting contract proposals for preclinical and clinical development of vaccines, therapeutic, and diagnostics for microbial pathogens. Go here for more.
  • Dates for the 2020 funding rounds for Novo REPAIR Impact Fund will be announced May 2020. Go here for current details.
  • 2020 funding rounds for CARB-X have not been announced.


Upcoming meetings of interest to the AMR community:

  • 25 Mar 2020 (online): NHS England is holding two webinars on its pilot procurement project. The webinars have the same content, the first is for suppliers (10a-noon UK) and the second is for interested stakeholders (1-3p UK). Go here for a prior newsletter on the project. Details on how to attend the webinars are not yet posted — for now, just mark your calendar.
  • 26 Mar 2020 (online, 17:00-18:30 CET): GARDP REVIVE webinar. Title: “Probability of target attainment analyses for dose selection in antimicrobial drug development,” Speaker: Shampa Das. Go here to register.
  • 30 Mar 2020 (everywhere): Deadline for applications for the Molecular Mycology pathogenesis course at Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole. Now in its 24th year, the hands-on residential course runs 17 July to 2 Aug and gets rave reviews. Go here for more.
  • 28 Apr 2020 (online, 17:00-18:30 CEST): GARDP REVIVE webinar. Title: “Inhaled antimicrobials: Do we get the drug to the bug?” Speaker: Harm A. W. M. Tiddens. Go here to register.
  • 5 May 2020 (online, 09:00-10:30 CEST): GARDP REVIVE webinar. Title: “The challenges and opportunities for antimicrobial R&D in low- and middle-income countries – India case study.” Speaker: Anand Anandkumar. Go here to register.
  • 7 May 2020 (Silver Spring): FDA workshop entitled “Development Considerations of Antifungal Drugs to Address Unmet Medical Need.” Go here to register.
  • 8 May 2020 (Silver Spring): FDA workshop entitled “Developing Antifungal Drugs for the Treatment of Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) Infection.” Go here to register.
  • 25-30 May 2020 (Rotterdam), Annual ESPID meeting (European Society for Pediatric ID, #38)
  • 18-22 Jun 2020 (Chicago), ASM Microbe 2020. Go here for details.
  • 17 Jul-2 Aug 2020 (Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA): Residential course entitled “Molecular Mycology: Current Approaches to Fungal Pathogenesis.” This 2-week intensive training program has run annually for many years and gets outstanding reviews. Go here for details.
  • 29 Jul-2 Aug 2020 (Philadelphia, PA): Small World Initiative Instructor Training Workshop – training for undergraduate professors and high school teachers in wet lab techniques, parallel curricula, pedagogical instruction to engage students in the hunt to find new antibiotics in soil. Go here to register.
  • 24-25 Aug 2020 (Basel): BEAM-, Novo REPAIR-, CARB-X-, DZIF-, ND4BB-, ENABLE-supported (among a long list!) Conference on Novel Antimicrobials and AMR Diagnostics. Details are here.
  • September 2020. University of Sheffield (UK). Applications are being taken for a new 1-year (full-time) or 2-year (part-time) Masters of Science course in Antimicrobial Resistance. The program runs annually from September and covers microbiology, clinical practice and policy. The course webpage is here.
  • 1-4 Sep 2020 (Dublin): Annual ASM-ESCMID Conference on Antibiotic Development #5! Mark your calendar now and go here for details.
  • 9-10 Sep 2020 (Washington, DC): US PACCARB public meeting. Go here for details.
  • 22-25 Sep 2020 (Albuquerque, New Mexico): Biannual meeting of the MSGERC (Mycoses Study Group Education and Research Consortium). Save-the-date announcement is here, details to follow.
  • [REGISTRATION NOW OPEN] 17-25 Oct 2020 (Annecy, France): Interdisciplinary Course on Antibiotics and Resistance (ICARe). This is a soup-to-nuts residential course on antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, and antibiotic R&D. The course is very intense, very detailed, and gets rave reviews. Registration is here and is limited to 40 students.
  • 10-13 Apr 2021 (Vienna): Annual ECCMID meeting (#31)
  • [NEW] 20-24 June 2021 (Toronto): International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD-12). Go here for details.
  • 3-7 Jun 2021 (Anaheim), ASM Microbe 2021. Go here for details.+

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