Horizon Europe 2021-2027: Initial AMR-focused calls now posted!

Dear All (and with thanks to Arjon van Hengel for co-authoring),

As was discussed in newsletters dated 28 Nov 2020 (a general announcement) and 29 Apr 2021 (comments by Stella Kyriakides), the EU has announced an ambitious Pharmaceutical Strategy with initiatives that includes development of Pull incentives for antimicrobials among a number of other topics (see the 28 Nov 2020 newsletter for the full list).

On 16 June, Horizon Europe the EU’s Research and innovation funding programme launched its research calls for the period 2021-2022 (Commission to invest €14.7 billion from Horizon Europe (europa.eu). Included within this are two specific calls for AMR-related work, one of which focuses on the Pull incentive element of the pharmaceutical strategy. Both are for the period 2021-2022 and both lay the groundwork for subsequent steps. There is a general webpage and a search portal for the calls. These are the specific AMR-related calls to seek out:

  • HORIZON-HLTH-2021-IND-07-02: Development, procurement and responsible management of new antimicrobials
    • For details, go to this webpage or to page 153 of this tender offer summary
    • In brief, the tender offers up to 2m EUR for work that prepares for a European pull incentive:
      •  “Proposers are expected to create the conditions for the establishment of a future innovation partnership.
      • “They should take advantage of the latest developments such as experiences gained within Europe on the advance purchase agreements for COVID-19 vaccines. 
      • “With the help of experts, potential procurers of new antimicrobials in the Member States have to set out the requirements and conditions for the final product(s) to be developed and purchased.
      • “This will needs to be guided by public health needs and should be based on priority pathogens such as those identified by WHO.
  • HORIZON-HLTH-2021-DISEASE-04-05: A roadmap towards the creation of the European partnership on One Health antimicrobial resistance (OH AMR)
    • For details, go to this webpage to page 77 of the same tender offer summary as above
    • This tender offers up to 1m EUR for work that prepares for a future broad scope AMR partnership between the European Commission and its Member States (can also include non-EU countries) on the topic of One Health AMR (OH AMR).
      • “Development of a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) for a comprehensive approach to inform the expected future European partnership on One Health antimicrobial resistance (OH AMR).
      • “Integration of key actors for AMR encompassing the field of human, veterinary and environmental disciplines and the broad spectrum of pathogens, including fungi and viruses.
      • “Robust communication and effective information exchange between diverse scientific disciplines and among multiple sectors of the society that are implicated such as patients, clinicians, veterinarians, pharmacists, food producers, pharmaceutical industry, policy makers and researchers (including those working in the social sciences and humanities).”

Coming hot on the heels of the re-introduction in the US Congress of the PASTEUR Act and then Cures 2.0 (the legislative vehicle that seems likely to carry PASTEUR forward), these calls have interesting implications. The scoping project for a European Pull incentive is obviously of great interest and feels very similar to the way the UK AMR Review paved the way for the UK’s pilot subscription project. And, the One Health AMR project has a remit that is much larger than just antimicrobial R&D. Taking on either of these projects would definitely put you at the ground floor of some fascinating work! Could one of these be for you? Deadlines for both are 21 Sep 2021.

All best wishes, John and Arjon

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.

Dr Arjon van Hengel, Team leader Infectious Diseases, Directorate General Research & Innovation, European Commission (views are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission)., luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Current funding opportunities (most current list is here):

  • 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):

  • [NEW] 29 June 2021 (virtual, 14:30-15:45 CEST): GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “Advancing Antibiotic R&D During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Moderated by GARDP’s Jennifer Schneider, you can register here for the event.
  • [NEW] 29-30 Jun 2021 (virtual, 10a-3p ET on both days): US PACCARB will hold a 2-day workshop; discussions will cover the state of the current pipeline (highlight: presentation by Kevin Outterson at noon on 29 Jun), One Health issues, and environmental AMR. Details here, register here.
  • 1 July 2021 (virtual, 10:00-11:00 CEST): GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “Balancing access to and stewardship of antimicrobials in LMICs.” Moderated by Philip Howard (U Leeds, VP BSAC), you can register here for the event.
  • 5 Jul 2021 (online): Royal Society-sponsored webinar entitled “Advances in antimicrobial innovation.” Go here for details and to register.
  • 6 Jul 2021 (virtual, 10-11.30 CET): South-East Asia WHO Regional and Country experiences in implementation of national action plans for AMR. WHO Webinar series, go here to register.
  • 6 Jul 2021 (virtual, 14.00-15.00 CET): Eastern Mediterranean WHO Regional and Country experiences in implementation of national action plans for AMR. WHO Webinar series, go here to register.
  • 9-12 Jul 2021 (virtual): Annual ECCMID meeting (#31)
  • 14 Jul 2021 (virtual, 10.00-11.00 CET): The Role of Vaccines in Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance– WHO Perspectives and Country Experiences (Pakistan). WHO Webinar series, go here to register.
  • 14 Jul 2021 (virtual, 16.00-17.00 CET): The Role of Vaccines in Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance– WHO Perspectives and Country Experiences (Zimbabwe). WHO Webinar series, go here to register.
  • [NEW] 20 Jul 2021 (virtual, 16.30-18.00 BST): BSAC-sponsored webinar entitled “Diagnostic-driven strategies for antimicrobial resistance in the UK” that will highlight AMR priorities and diagnostic needs for the UK’s NHS. Go here to register.
  • 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.
  • 24-26 Aug 2021 (virtual, timings not stated but presumably EU-centered): The 5th edition of the annual AMR conference sponsored by the BEAM Alliance, CARB-X, the Novo REPAIR Impact Fund, the IMI Accelerator, and the European Biotechnology Network. The in-person version of this meeting is consistently excellent; the video-based version will have to do for 2021. 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. 
  • 5-8 Nov 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.
  • 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.
  • 25-28 Oct 2022 (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.


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