Stella Kyriakides, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, made some really interesting statements before the European Parliament’s health committee (ENVI) on Thursday of last week (22 April). Per this Exchange of Views on the EP’s multimedia center and this news report, here are some highlights:
- In the Exchange of Views at 00:03:44, she said: “Later this year, we will come forward with the proposal for a Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority. HERA should be operational at the very latest by 2023 and enable us to act quickly and react quickly to health emergencies. Its precursor, the HERA incubator, is already focussing on adapting existing vaccines to variants.”
- In the Exchange of Views at 00:05:28, she said: “… this brings me to antimicrobial resistance. This is still one of the most serious threats to global health. It lays bare the links between environmental, animal and human health. Addressing it, therefore, requires a broad joined up response. The EU’s One Health Action Plan Against AMR pursues ambitious measures to address the drivers of AMR and to promote the use of antimicrobials.”
- Comment: I wrote about EU Action Plan in this 29 Jun 2017 newsletter. Of its 3 pillars, the second is entitled “Boosting Research, Development, and Innovation on AMR” and has a specific aim of “Develop New Economic Models and Incentives.”
- Per the news report (I can’t find this in any of the recorded media), “She added that the pilot for innovative approaches to research and development and public procurement for antimicrobials and their alternatives will be launched as soon as the ambitious EU4Health programme embedded in the recovery fund is adopted for 2021.”
- Comment: OK! So this builds on the comment in the just-mentioned 2017 Action Plan about new economic models by giving us the encouraging signal the the idea of Pull Incentives mentioned in the 2020 Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe is going to come to fruition. Hooray!
Overall, it is encouraging to see the continued focus on AMR at senior political levels: the progress towards HERA and the general interest in addressing AMR are of course very much welcomed.
Mostly importantly, I eagerly await concrete next steps on Pull incentives from Europe and hope we can encourage (i) clear statements of desired product characteristics that would (ii) earn delinked innovation incentives that would adequately reward R&D effort. Stated differently, Industry needs to be told (a) what kind of fire extinguisher(s) are needed and (b) how much they would be worth!
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 has an open global call that ends on 7 May 2021. Go here for current details.
- NIAID’s 2021 Broad Agency Announcement for product development is entitled “Development of Medical Countermeasures for Biothreat Agents, Antimicrobial-Resistant Infections an Emerging Infectious Diseases” and is now live with a 24 May 2021 deadline. Research areas include Vaccines, Therapeutics, and Sequencing-Based Diagnostics.
- 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.
- It’s not a funder, but AiCuris’ AiCubator offers incubator support to very early stage projects. Read more about it here.
- The Global AMR R&D Hub’s dynamic dashboard (link) summarizes the global clinical development pipeline, incentives for AMR R&D, and investors/investments in AMR R&D.
- In addition to the lists provided by the Global AMR R&D Hub, you might also be interested in my 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):
- 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.
- 12 May 2021 (virtual, 11a-12.30p EST): Duke-Margolis-sponsored webinar entitled “Combating Rising Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) & Advancing Public Health Preparedness.” Including discussions by two former FDA Commissioners (Scott Gottleib, Mark McClellan), the webinar will focus on the policy issues around AMR. Go here for the agenda and to register.
- 13 May 2021 (virtual, 9.30-11.00a EST): CDC-sponsored webinar entitled “AMR in a Changed World: Building Resilient Systems for Today and Tomorrow.” Moderated by CDC’s Michael Craig, an international panel will discuss “where we go from here to address AMR after the COVID-19 pandemic.” Go here to register.
- 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.
- 9-12 Jul 2021 (virtual): Annual ECCMID meeting (#31)
- 26 Jul-30 Jul 2021 (online): Small World Initiative Instructor Training Workshop – training for undergraduate professors in the wet lab techniques, parallel curricula, & pedagogical instruction to engage students in the hunt to find new antibiotic-producing soil microbes. Go here to register.
- 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.
- 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.