Health Security underpins Economic Security: Fabulous webinar chaired by Dame Sally

Dear All,

I want to call your attention to the replay available on YouTube of the excellent 24 Sep 2020 webinar entitled “The global movement of microorganisms:
Tracking the spread of difficult-to-treat infections.” Chair by Dame Sally, this 90-minute webinar (link) had 4 global speakers:

  • (Geneva) Hanan Balkhy, Assistant Director-General, World Health Organization
  • (Addis Ababa) John Nkengasong, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
  • (Minneapolis) Michael Osterholm, Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
  • (Hanoi) Rogier van Doorn, Director, OUCRU-Ha Noi Centre of Tropical Medicine


Building on the idea of surveillance as the key starting point for infection prevention and control, the speakers highlighted a range of great topics:

  • Global efforts (WHO’s GLASS surveillance system, link), 
  • Regional efforts (how the Africa CDC quickly mobilized in response to COVID-19; relatedly, see the excellent paper (link) on national AMR action plans in Africa by Mirfin Mpundu, Head of ReAct Africa),
  • National efforts (how Vietnam gain control over COVID-19), and
  • How the example of a global structure of seamlessly connected air traffic control towers is model for the way our epidemiology programs should function.


Especially useful memes/messages included:

  • COVID vs. AMR: COVID-19 is visible, has lots of attention and will end. AMR is invisible, lacks attention, and will NOT end.
  • Why AMR is so invisible: AMR does not often appear on death certificates!
  • The value of preparedness: COVID-19 makes it clear that health security underpins economic security


The idea that “Health Security underpins Economic Security” seems especially powerful to me right now as the entire global faces economic headwinds. We need to explain the critical need for an adequate supply of the #FireExtinguishersOfMedicine (link to 7 June 2020 newsletter) to all of our colleagues — this is a key message needed to encourage creation of adequate delinked pull incentives such as those proposed by the PASTEUR Act (link to 30 Sep 2020 newsletter) and by the UK Subscription pilot (link to 29 Mar 2020 newsletter).

Keep spreading the word! 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 (most current list is here):

  • Novo REPAIR Impact Fund closed its most recent round on 31 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.
  • It’s not a funder, but AiCuris’ AiCubator offers incubator support to very early stage projects. Read more about it here.
  • You might also be interested in the most current lists of R&D incentives (link) and priority pathogens (link)


Upcoming meetings of interest to the AMR community (most current list is here):

  • 8 Oct 2020 (online, 16.30-18.30 CEST; 10.30a-12.30p EST); Bootcamp #2 entitled “Exploring safety issues in antimicrobial drug development”. Moderated by Claire Sadler (Apconix), this webinar is jointly sponsored by GARDP, CARB-X, Novo REPAIR, JPIAMR, Wellcome Trust, ASM, and ESCMID. Since we can’t the ASM-ESCMID meeting, we’re still going to have the bootcamps! Go here to register.
    • [NEW] In case you missed it, the 24 Sep 2020 Bootcamp #1 (“Moving from preclinical to clinical-stage: Challenges & opportunities”) is now available for replay: Get it here.
  • [NEW] 15 Oct 2020 (online, 9-10.30am EST) webinar chaired by Andrew Morris entitled “Prevention is Stronger than Cure”, the second webinar in a 4-part series sponsored by Wellcome Trust entitled “AMR in the Light of COVID-19 Webinar Series; From hypothetical to reality: How COVID-19 foretells a world without antibiotics.” Go here to register.
  • [NEW] 21 Oct 2020 (online, 9:00-10:30 CEST): GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “Building better breakpoints: data and methods needed to determine breakpoints for new agents” moderated by Gunnar Kahlmeter. Go here to register.
  • 21-25 Oct 2020 (online meeting), IDWeek 2020. Go here for details.
  • 26-29 Oct 2020 (online meeting), Annual ESPID meeting (European Society for Pediatric ID, #38)
  • 27 Oct 2020 (online, 9a-5p EST): FDA Workshop entitled “Development Considerations of Antimicrobial Drugs for the Treatment of Gonorrhea.” Go here to register.
  • 27 Oct 2020 (online meeting), BARDA Industry Day, a discussion of U.S. Government medical countermeasure priorities. Mark your calendar now and watch this website for details.
  • [NEW] 3-27 Nov 2020 (online, 4-week course, 10 sessions, 2-3h/session): First WHO Training Course in Infodemic Management. Infodemic = “information” + “epidemic” = rapid and far-reaching spread of both accurate and inaccurate information making it difficult to learn essential information about an issue. This is a training program for country-level preparedness. Application deadline is 18 Oct 2020. Go here for more.
  • [NEW] 5 Nov 2020 (online, 9-10.30am EST) webinar entitled “Aiming in the dark: what happens when disease spreads without diagnosis”, the third webinar in a 4-part series sponsored by Wellcome Trust entitled “AMR in the Light of COVID-19 Webinar Series; From hypothetical to reality: How COVID-19 foretells a world without antibiotics.” Go here to register.
  • [NEW] 17 Nov 2020 (online, 17:00-18:30 CET): GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “Discovery of new antibacterials using artificial intelligence (computational chemoinformatics)” moderated by Laura Piddock. Go here to register.
  • 18-24 Nov 2020 (everywhere): World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. For resources, go here for WHO’s home page for the week. The focus will be on two messages: “Antimicrobials: handle with care” and “United to preserve antimicrobials.”
  • [NEW] 19 Nov 2020 (online, 9-10.30am EST) webinar chaired by Jeremy Knox entitled “Responding to difficult-to-treat infections: Role and responsibilities of governments, researchers, clinicians, industry and patients”, the final webinar in a 4-part series sponsored by Wellcome Trust entitled “AMR in the Light of COVID-19 Webinar Series; From hypothetical to reality: How COVID-19 foretells a world without antibiotics.” Go here to register.
  • 9-12 Jul 2021 (Vienna): Annual ECCMID meeting (#31)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 27 Jun-2 Jul 2021 (Ventura, CA): Gordon Research Conference entitled “Antimicrobial Peptides”. Go here for details, go here for the linked 26-27 Jun Gordon Research Seminar that precedes it.
  • 5-21 Aug 2021 (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.
  • 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.
  • 6-11 Mar 2022 (Il Ciocco, Tuscany): Gordon Research Conference entitled “New Antibacterial Discovery and Development”. Go here for details, go here for the linked 5-6 Mar Gordon Research Seminar that precedes it.

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