WHO to create a Priority Pathogen List for Fungi! / RFP to build the list

Dear All,

WHO have been thinking about the threat of resistant fungi as well as resistant bacteria. An initial discussion by a small working group on approaches to priority fungal pathogens (April 2020, here’s the link to the report) concluded that Candida auris; azole-resistant Candida spp., azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus, Cryptococcus neoformans (& C. gattii), Pneumocystis jirovecii, Mucorales, and potentially Histoplasmosis were all of global public health importance and should be considered for a fungal PPL (Priority Pathogen List) based on limitations of treatment options due to resistance and/or treatability issues.

Following on from this, WHO have put out this RFP (link, but also see below my signature) for a team to implement a formal process of constructing a fungal PPL during the period 28 November 2020 – 28 August 2021. The project has two main objectives (text lightly edited from the RFP):

  • To support the implementation of an existing protocol for the development of the WHO global fungal PPL for R&D of new antifungal agents.
  • Support WHO in conducting fungal advisory group meetings in 2021 and finalization of the WHO PPL report.

The RFP provides these instructive details about the project and the type of bidder being sought:

  • WHO requires the successful bidder, the Contractor, to carry out systematic reviews, developing and conducting a multi-criteria decision analysis stakeholder survey, statistical analysis of the results and drafting of the WHO fungal priority pathogens list and subsequent clinical antifungal pipeline review.
  • The provider shall be a for-profit (or not-for-profit) institution operating in the field of antimcirobial/antifungal discovery, research and development, AMR surveillance or other fields relevant to antimicrobial resistance and statistical analysis with proven expertise in fungal pathogens, undertaking systematic reviews and multi-criteria decision analysis surveys.

Wow! Could this be you and your colleagues? If so, the deadline for an offer is 28 Oct 2020 … see further details below my signature.

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.

EXTENDED DETAILS
Link to the RFP: https://www.ungm.org/Public/Notice/115405
Title: APW to support the development of the WHO fungal priority pathogens list of public health importance
Reference: AMR/GCP/2020/8
Published: 6 October 2020
Closing date and time for the reception of offers: 28 October 2020, 17:00 CET
Description:

  • Undertake systematic reviews based on the draft protocol that outlines the fungal pathogens and criteria for the prioritization exercise that has been developed by the IRC unit.
  • Develop a multi-criteria decision analysis stakeholder survey to prioritize the fungal pathogens.
  • Undertake statistical analysis of the results of the MCDA and support WHO in drafting the WHO report on fungal pathogens of public health importance to guide research and development efforts.
  • Undertake a qualitative review of antifungal agents in the clinical pipeline targeting the WHO fungal PPL.

Email address to submit proposals: antibacterialpipeline@who.int

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):

  • 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. The video for the 8 Oct 2020 Bootcamp #2 (“Exploring safety issues in antimicrobial drug development”) will follow shortly — check back at the current meetings webpage (link) to find it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 29 Oct 2020 (online, 4-6pm Paris): 5th anniversary ICARe (Interdisciplinary Course on Antibiotics and Resistance) webinar. This fabulous week-long residential course can’t be held this year but Patrice Courvalin is organizing a 2-h anniversary webinar both for former attendees and anybody else who is interested. Speakers will include Patrice as well as Helen Boucher, Gerry Wright, Erin Duffy, and me. Mark your calendar now … link to follow.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.”
  • 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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