Nature publishes superb 10-paper collection on all things AMR

Dear All, 

Released on 21 Oct 2020, Nature has published an Outlook series on AMR. The papers are 2-4 pages long and provide an excellent survey of all things AMR from the perspective of R&D in support of new therapies and vaccines (diagnostics are not covered). See below the list of papers with brief comments on content.

All the papers are good; special highlights for me were #2 (economics) and #7-9 (food supply). Discussions of aquaculture always make me think about Jason Gale’s superb 2016 article on this (link). Happy reading!

  1. Antimicrobial resistanceA very brief overview of the twin problems of resistance and the broken economics of antibiotics.
  2. Why big pharma has abandoned antibiotics: An excellent introductory survey of the broken economic model. Read and share this one if nothing else.
  3. The art of infection prevention: If we can prevent infections, then we can keep our fire extinguishers on the shelf!
  4. How researchers are revamping antimicrobial drugs: R&D is really hard, so use your time well! For more on “What bugs to target and why?”, see also this discussion of priority pathogens (link).
  5. Drug discovery needs to change: Really different approaches are encouraged! You might also enjoy the tours of machine-based discovery in this newsletter (link) and in the research round-up immediately beFlow.
  6. Research round-up: Antimicrobial resistance: A brief tour of current literature include more on machine-based discovery.
  7. How China is getting its farmers to kick their antibiotics habitChina’s reduced agricultural antibiotic use by 57% between 2014 and 2018, to less than 30,000 tonnes! Here’s how they did it.
  8. Aquaculture’s role in propagating antimicrobial resistance must be addressed: Aquaculture is a major part of our food supply and major efforts are underway to replace antibiotic use with vaccines and other approaches.
  9. Don’t ignore another disease threat: What targets should we set for reducing antibiotic use in our food supply chain? You might also want to review this newsletter (link) on the process of ranking antibiotics based on their importance to human health.
  10. Antimicrobial resistance: Shionogi advocates policy change to address the public health threat: Our colleagues at Shionogi have been developing antibiotics since 1959 and provided the funding for this excellent series. Read more about their work here.

As you’ll see from this final paper, this excellent review was supported by a grant from Shionogi. Well done!

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):

  • The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Applicant Assistance Program (AAP) opens on October 22, 2020. This program provides no cost support for companies planning to apply for a Phase II, Fast Track, or Direct-to-Phase II SBIR or STTR Award. Go here for details.
  • 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.
  • ARLG (Antibiotic Resistance Leadership Group, link) is currently open for applications for its 2-year ARLG Fellowship program. The application deadline is 1 Dec 2020; full details are here.
  • Finally, 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.
  • 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.
  • 28 Oct 2020 (online, 17:00-18:30 CET): GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “Developing antibiotics for children – medical need and regulatory challenges” moderated by Sally Ellis. Go here to register.
  • 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. Go here to register.
  • 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.
  • 16 Nov 2020 (online, 9.30a-4.00p EST): FDA workshop entitled “Potential Approach for Ranking of Antimicrobial Drugs According to Their Importance in Human Medicine: A Risk Management Tool for Antimicrobial New Animal Drugs.” Go here for the FR notice and here for extended details, including registration.
  • 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.
  • 26-28 Jan 2021 (online, runs ~7.30a-5.00p Central each day): 4th Annual Texas Medical Center Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Conference. Sponsored by McGovern Medical School, ARLG, and the Gulf Coast Consortia, the agenda includes both poster sessions and keynotes. The call for abstracts closes 18 Dec 2020. Go here for more details.
  • 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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