Updated global antibacterial pipeline review from Pew Trusts

Dear All,

Pew Charitable Trusts have released an excellent update to their long-running series of pipeline reviews. Here are the links you need:

  • (link) Pipeline of traditional products (classical small molecules)
  • (link) Pipeline of non-traditional products (vaccines, immunotherapies, and other out-of-the-box ideas)
  • (link) An infographic that you can use for sharing the key points
  • (link) An animated graphic showing pipeline evolution since 2014


Here are a few highlights:

  • By the numbers: There are 43 traditional products and 36 non-traditional products in clinical development (Phase 1-3)
    • Of these, only 1 in 4 are novel classes or novel mechanisms
      • And sadly, none are potentially active against Gram-negative ESKAPE pathogens or WHO critical threat pathogens (go here for a these pathogen lists)
      • Almost half of the novel products are in development for Clostridioides difficile
    • In addition, over half of the nontraditional products in development are for the treatment of Clostridioides difficile
  • The animated graphic is mesmerizing and well worth watching a few times … drugs go forwards, backwards, and then crash out altogether before your very eyes!
  • The big conclusion will not be a surprise to this audience!
    • “There are not enough antibiotics in development globally to meet current and anticipated patient needs.”


Well done, Team Pew! This is the kind of analysis that helps drive policy change at the political level! 

So … all of you need to get busy and discover something new!  As encouragement, my ongoing experiments with YouTube have led to creation of a pair of 4-5 minute videos on antibiotic stories embedded in movies! More of these are the way, but please enjoy these two now and you might also want to review the 28 April 2020 newsletter on Movies to Inspire Antibiotic Discovery (link):

  • (link) From Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility: A near-death experience with pneumococcal pneumonia
  • (link) From Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa: The emergence of salvarsan, the first “silver bullet” therapy for syphilis



Sidebar: The team at the Longitude Prize have published an instructive discussion of the implications of Brexit for diagnostic developers. Their commentary discusses the timeline for a transition from use of the EU’s CE Mark to a UK Conformity Assessment Mark (UKCA) and also explains how this impacts teams working towards the Longitude Prize.

Stay safe! 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):

  • 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):

  • 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.
  • [NEW] 24 Mar 2021 (online, 2.30-4p CET): GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “Discovering and developing new treatments for tuberculosis,” moderated by Lydia Nakiyingi. Go here to register.
  • [NEW] 20-22 April 2021 (online, 1-5p CET): JPIAMR-sponsored workshop entitled “Feeding the Antimicrobial Therapeutics Pipeline.” JPIAMR, the collaborative global effort of 28 countries (much of the EU and also Argentina, Canada, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Korea, South Africa, and Turkey), is organizing a mixture of keynote talks, abstract presentations, and discussion panels designed to encourage collaborative antibiotic R&D. Go here for more details and registration. Abstract deadline is March 17th 2021; no previous JPIAMR funding required.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • [NEW DATES] 25-28 Oct 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.
  • 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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