National Academies: Nominations sought for ad hoc committee on medical and economic impact of AMR

26 Aug 2020 update: The committe has been named and some additional project commentary posted. Go here for details. 

Dear All,

Following on from the AMR-related funding in the legislation that funded the US government through Sep 2020 (link), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) is now seeking nominations for an ad hoc committee to quantify the long-term medical and economic impacts of AMR in the US. The review has a OneHealth approach that will encompass all of the work of the US National Action Plan (NAP) for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB, link). I’ve summarized here the list of topics initially proposed for the committee:

  • Strategies for global detection of resistant infections;
  • Risk to human health from environmental sources;
  • Options for and impact of agricultural interventions;
  • Impact of new incentives for antibiotic development;
  • Ways to improve projections of the burden of AMR;
  • Exploring ways to benchmark and track measures of the impact of various strategies to mitigate AMR;
  • Needs for animal-specific antimicrobial susceptibility testing breakpoints; and
  • Enhancing development of new diagnostics for use in veterinary settings.  

Nominations for this committee are due by 2 July 2020 at this link.

Although not specifically stated in the online materials, this project appears to be part of the run-up to creating the next iteration of the US NAP for CARB (you have to love the acronyms!) that will inform the work of NIH, CDC, FDA, ASPR, USDA, and USAID. As a reminder, the initial US NAP for CARB is/was a 5-year project (2015-2020) that has encompassed work by many parts of the US Government. A review by the Ass’t Sec’y for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) was released in 2017 of progress in years 1 and 2 (link) and we had a subsequent report in 2019 by PACCARB on possible priorities for a 2020-2025 update to the NAP (link). 

With COVID-19 having taught us all about the value of preparedness, I see lots of scope for interesting work here! For example, (i) Dave Ecker recently wrote a thoughtful opinion piece in Scientific American on ways to use next-generation sequencing to spot emerging pathogens (link), (ii) round 2 of the 5-year CARB-X project needs to be funded, and (iii) we need to get serious about pull incentives for interesting new antibiotics (see this 2020 GAO report and a summary of prior newsletters and reports here).

With thanks to our partners in government for pushing this work forward and 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: All opinions are my own.

Current funding opportunities:

  • Novo REPAIR Impact Fund is open for global applications through 21 Jul 2020. Go here for current details.
  • 2020 funding rounds for CARB-X have not been announced.
  • The Global AMR R&D Hub’s dynamic dashboard (link) summarizes funders and projects by geography, stage, and more.

Upcoming meetings of interest to the AMR community:

  • 25 June 2020 (online, 13:00-14:00 CEST): JPIAMR webinar. Title: “Antibiotic Use: Have antibiotics been appropriately used in the COVID-19 pandemic?” Speaker: Jesús Rodriguez Baño will moderate a global panel discussion. Go here to register.
  • 25 Jun 2020 (online, 14:00-15:00 CEST): GARDP REVIVE webinar. Title: “Putting children first in the fight against antibiotic resistance.” Speakers: Manica Balasegaram, Hanan Balkhy, Stafan Peterson. Go here register.
  • 25 June 2020 (online, 14:30-15:30 CEST): JPIAMR webinar. Title: “AMR Research: Facilitating AMR research in the COVID-19 pandemic” Speaker: Till Bachmann will moderate a global panel discussion. Go here to register.
  • 30 Jun 2020 (online, 17:00-18:30 CEST): GARDP REVIVE webinar. Title: “Clinical development of antimicrobials – Phase 1 development challenges.” Speaker: Markus Zeitlinger. Go here to register.
  • 9 Jul 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 and Kamini Walla. Go here to register.
  • 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.
  • 27 Jul-31 Jul 2020 (online): 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 (also covering distancing learning options). Go here to register.
  • 4 Aug 2020 (Silver Spring): FDA workshop entitled “Development Considerations of Antifungal Drugs to Address Unmet Medical Need.” Go here to register.
  • 5 Aug 2020 (Silver Spring): FDA workshop entitled “Developing Antifungal Drugs for the Treatment of Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) Infection.” Go here to register.
  • 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.
  • 9-10 Sep 2020 (Washington, DC): US PACCARB public meeting. Go here for details.
  • 26-29 Oct 2020 (online meeting), Annual ESPID meeting (European Society for Pediatric ID, #38)
  • 10-13 Apr 2021 (Vienna): Annual ECCMID meeting (#31)
  • 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.
  • 8-11 Oct 2021 (Aberdeen, Scotland): 10th Trends in Medical Mycology. Go here for details.
  • 16-24 Oct 2021 (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.
  • 18-21 May 2021 (Albuquerque, New Mexico): Biannual meeting of the MSGERC (Mycoses Study Group Education and Research Consortium). Save-the-date announcement is here, details to follow.


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