I’ve written before about the AMR Action Fund (9 Jul 2020 newsletter):
- In brief, it is ~$1b pledged by over 20 leading pharmaceutical companies to support the Phase 2-3 studies needed to bring 2-4 new antibiotics to approval by 2030
- Stated differently, the AMR Action Fund provides Push incentives for Phase 2-3 to complement the Push Incentives for pre-clinical to Phase 1 from CARB-X and the Novo REPAIR Impact Fund. We still need Pull Incentives for products that make it to market:
With that as context, today we have two exciting press releases from the AMR Action Fund:
- (link) An additional $140m has now been committed by Boehringer-Ingelheim Foundation ($50m), Wellcome Trust (£50m or ~$67m), and the European Investment Bank (€20m or ~$24m) – it’s great to see such a diverse set of stakeholders coming together to tackle a global health priority like AMR!
- (link) Henry Skinner, PhD, an experienced biomedical investor, has been appointed CEO of the fund!
The progress on funding is as expected: based on prior coverage of the fund (e.g., this one from 30 Jul 2020), the total funding is expected to be over ~$1b. The fund is still actively looking for additional investors ahead of its final close later in 2021.
The announcement of Henry Skinner as the CEO is another very positive step for the fund. Henry, a microbiologist trained at the University of Illinois, has many years of biotech, pharma, and investment experience, including in AMR, and is a wonderful choice for this role. I had a chance to chat with him earlier this week and you can hear his initial thoughts on the AMR Action Fund in this 15-minute YouTube video:
I try not to cry too often in public, but the initial announcement of AMR Action Fund did indeed bring tears to my eyes. I am a tiny bit less emotional today, but as a certified AMR Activist (per Laura Spinney in her recent article in The Guardian; please do look closely at the clever graphic that accompanies her article), I’ll have to say that this further announcement from the AMR Action Fund is marvelous, just marvelous. Marvelous!
So many of us have worked for so long to drive awareness around this problem! Wow! Wow!
With profound gratitude for this community, –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 US Department of Defense is funding pre-clinical research on small molecules vs. P. aeruginosa. See this newsletter for details. The deadline is 18 Feb 2021.
- FDA have announced two fellowship opportunities (one for research on ordinal endpoints, one for research on endpoints in cUTI), both with a 26 Feb 2021 deadline. See this newsletter for more details.
- CDC has released an RFP entitled “Safe Healthcare, Epidemiology, and Prevention Research Development (SHEPheRD)” that seeks support for a broad range of healthcare epidemiology projects. See this newsletter for details. The deadline is 3 Mar 2021.
- The Stockholm-based PAR Foundation seeks applications for projects with the potential to prevent infections and antimicrobial resistance in the elderly. Grants can be for up to 1M SEK (~$120,000) for projects running up to 3 years. The deadline for applications is 10 Mar 2021; go here for further details.
- JPIAMR has an open research call entitled “One Health interventions to prevent or reduce the development and transmission of AMR.” More details on the call are here; the deadline for pre-proposals is 16 Mar 2021.
- The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Applicant Assistance Program (AAP) 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.
- CARB-X recently announced that their existing resources will be reserved to fund their existing portfolio (more than 80 total awards, and counting, as they include contracting from prior rounds). New rounds from CARB-X will occur only after new funding is obtained in 2021.
- 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.
- 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):
- 25 Feb 2021 (online, 5-6.30p CET): GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “From discovery to the pre-clinical antimicrobial candidate,” moderated by Michael Mourez. Go here to register.
- [NEW] 4 Mar 2021 (virtual, 4-5.30p CET): GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “Learning from COVID-19 to tackle the silent pandemic of antibiotic resistance,” moderated by Manica Balasegaram. Go here to register.
- 10-12 Mar 2021 (Stellenbosch, South Africa): The University of Cape Town’s H3D Research Centre will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a symposium covering the Centre’s research on Malaria, TB, Neglected Tropical Diseases, and AMR. Go here to register; abstract deadline is 15 Nov 2020.
- 12 Mar 2021 (virtual, 11a-1p EST): BARDA-sponsored workshop entitled “Vaccines Against Antimicrobial Resistant Threats.” BARDA wants to support development of vaccines vs. E. coli, K. pneumoniae, P. aeruginosa, and S. aureus! Sign-up for here to learn more.
- 15-18 Mar 2021 (virtual, EU afternoon timing): The Uppsala Health Summit is focusing this year on “Managing Antimicrobial Resistance through Behaviour Change.” This is a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder (policy, industry, academia, civil society) program that focuses on a different topic each year. Go here to for more details.
- 9-12 Jul 2021 (Vienna): Annual ECCMID meeting (#31)
- 10-12 May 2021 (virtual): UK-focused Virtual AMR Innovation Mission sponsored by Innovate UK in collaboration with AMR Insights and Oxford innovation. This free 3-day virtual event seeks to connect AMR-focused start-ups, SMEs and Multinationals, Academia, Research Institutes, Regional Development Companies and other interested stakeholders in the UK, Europe and other parts of the world. It will be followed (COVID-willing!) by a face-to-face mission scheduled for 11-15 Oct 2021. Go here for more details.
- 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.
- 24-29 May 2021 (online and in Geneva): ESPID 2021, the 39th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases. Save-the-date announcement is here, details to follow.
- 3-7 Jun 2021 (Anaheim), ASM Microbe 2021. Go here for details.
- 20-24 June 2021 (Toronto): International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD-12). Go here for details.
- 20-24 Jun 2021 (virtual, various times): World Microbe Forum sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS). Go here for more details and to register.
- 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.
- [UPDATED DATES] 14-29 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.
- 11-15 Oct 2021 (physical, somewhere in the UK): UK-focused Innovation Mission sponsored by Innovate UK in collaboration with AMR Insights and Oxford innovation. This free event seeks to connect AMR-focused start-ups, SMEs and Multinationals, Academia, Research Institutes, Regional Development Companies and other interested stakeholders in the UK, Europe and other parts of the world. Go here for more 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. Bonus feature: For obvious reasons, the course didn’t happen in 2020! But as a celebration of the course’s 5th year, a webinar version was held on 29 Oct 2020: go here to stream it.
- 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.