The BEAM Alliance, along with its partners (CARB-X, the Novo REPAIR Impact Fund, the IMI AMR Accelerator, and the European Biotechnology Magazine) converted their annual AMR conference into a virtual event held 24-26 Aug 2021. As usual, it was excellent! I know we’re all really, REALLY tired of virtual meetings but the 2h/day x 3 day themed format worked well:
- Day 1: “Status quo & COVID-19 Impact – What has changed after one year of COVID?”
- Day 2: ” Financing & Investing – What’s new with funds, incubators and accelerators?”
- These talks provided a global survey of funding, including both the official launch of a new Swiss-German incubator (INCATE) as well the first announcement that the AMR Action Fund is open for business!
- Linked to Day 3, the conversations on this day also emphasized the need for further progress on Pull mechanisms to ensure sustained funding for AMR R&D.
- Day 3: “Policy & Incentives – What can we learn from best practices to go ahead?”
- Starting with a tour of the new report on antibiotic value from the Global AMR R&D Hub and proceeding to an exciting update on the NHS Netflix-like delinked pilot, the sense that we may yet really get Pull incentives was very strong.
- In particular, it sounds like Team UK are (i) about to have a strong public report on their valuation model and (ii) working hard to share their value model with other governments. Huge!
The good news is that you can readily access the conference recordings! Here’s what you need:
- Go to this link: https://amr-conference.com/recordings-2021/
- And use this password: !2021#AMR-Conf3renc3
If you don’t have time for the whole meeting, there are written summaries for Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3. But I strongly suggest that you make time to listen to at least the first hour of Day 3: the talk from Team NHS is required listening for the whole community. The STEDI principles discussed in that talk are going to be key supports for adequate global Pull incentives:
If the STEDI acronym is new to you, here is a quick summary:
- Spectrum: Benefits of being able to treat with a narrow-spectrum agent in some settings (note how this use of Spectrum has a very specific meaning).
- Transmission: Benefits from avoiding spread of infection
- Enablement: Benefits from making it safe to receive medical care
- Diversity: Using varied antibiotics reduces resistance pressure
- Insurance: Value of having an antibiotic to hand in case of sudden need
The key point to make when explaining STEDI to others is that these are the values that an antibiotic brings to society simply by being on the shelf. As COVID has shown us, knowing that the right fire extinguisher is always at hand enables all of us live, work, and play in safety. If you’d like additional details, this 14 April 2020 newsletter provides lots of helpful links and there is also a 10-minute YouTube video that provides a verbal tour:
Ok, that’s enough for today! Many thanks to the sponsors and meeting organizers for this consistently useful meeting. Next year’s version is scheduled for 7–8 April 2022 in Basel and I truly hope that COVID vaccination rates will have achieved sufficient uptake that we can have a real meeting! Go here for the hold-the-date page and a way to be kept informed about the meeting.
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 AMR Industry Alliance is offering a Stewardship Prize of 12.5k CHF (~$13.5k at current rates) to recognize innovative new approaches to AMR stewardship in LMICs (low- and middle-income countries). Go here for more details Applications are due by 8 Oct 2021.
- The AMR Action Fund is now open to proposals for funding of Phase 2 / Phase 3 antibacterial therapeutics. Per its charter, the fund prioritizes investment in treatments that address a pathogen prioritized by the WHO, the CDC and/or other public health entities that: (i) are novel (e.g., absence of known cross-resistance, novel targets, new chemical classes, or new mechanisms of action); and/or (ii) have significant differentiated clinical utility (e.g., differentiated innovation that provides clinical value versus standard of care to prescribers and patients, such as safety/tolerability, oral formulation, different spectrum of activity); and (iii) reduce patient mortality. It is also expected that such agents would have the potential to strongly address the likely requirements for delinked Pull incentives such as the UK (NHS England) subscription pilot and the PASTEUR Act in the US. Submit queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- INCATE (Incubator for Antibacterial Therapies in Europe) is a newly launched early-stage funding vehicle. Details are still coming into focus, but per comments on 25 Aug 2021 at the BEAM-sponsored AMR conference, their goal is to support ~4 companies per year with about $250k/company. Contact details are on their website (https://www.incate.net/).
- 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] 22-23 Sep 2021 (virtual, 10-11.15a CET and then again at 3-4.30p CET): WHO-sponsored webinar entitled of “One Health approaches to antimicrobial resistance” with global, regional and country presentations from Thailand, Kenya and Morocco. Go here to register for the earlier time slot, go here for the later one.
- 29 Sep-3 Oct 2021 (virtual, various times): 10th annual IDWeek conference. Go here to register.
- 30 Sep 2021 (virtual, 9a-noon EST, 2-5p BST): Featuring Dame Sally Davies and Marc Mendelson, this is a Vivli-sponsored workshop entitled “A Foundation Briefing on Industry AMR Surveillance: Data for Action” that will discuss Vivli’s new surveillance sharing platform. Go here to register.
- 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.
- 22 Oct 2021 (virtual, 3:30 PM CET/9:30 AM ET): CARB-X webinar entitled “European Celebration of 5 Years of Progress with CARB-X: A virtual discussion of progress and plans to accelerate innovation globally.” Don’t be thrown by the word ‘European’ in the title — the early agenda does have a European flavor but the implications are global. Go here to register.
- 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.
- [NEW DATE; REGISTRATION LINK AVAILABLE] 3 Dec 2021 (Boston, in person, 9a-6.30p, COVID vaccination required): 8th annual BAARN (Boston Area Antimicrobial Research Network) meeting. Go here for details; registration link is here.
- [NEW] 3 Dec 2021 (virtual, US daytime timings): Symposium entitled “Advances in Antibacterial Discovery” sponsored by the St. Jude Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, is a part of the broader Bringing Chemistry to Medicine series and is supported by the St. Jude T32 Infectious Disease Therapeutics training program. Go here for details and 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.
- [NEW] 7-8 Apr 2022 (Basel and in person, we hope): The 6th 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. Go here for the hold-the-date page and a way to be kept informed about the meeting.
- 9-13 May 2022 (Athens and online): 40th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Go here for details.
- 20-24 Sep 2022 (New Delhi): 21st Congress of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology (ISHAM). Go here for details.
- 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.