RFP: Climate-Sensitive Infectious Disease Modelling

Dear All,

And now for something really different! With the recent GRAM report (20 Jan 2022 newsletter) showing that AMR is linked to more deaths that HIV or malaria (#AMRSOS! Andrew Jack and FT team have some great graphics for this … check them out!), we now have an absolutely fascinating call from Wellcome Trust for the development of new software tools that researchers and policymakers can use to track and predict how climate change will affect the spread of infectious diseases. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Background to get you oriented to the area:
    • Literature review of existing software tools at the intersection between climate and infectious disease + interviews with global experts
    • An excellent perspective article by Bilal Mateen (Wellcome’s Senior Manager for Digital Technology) on development of digital tools to catalyze the next generation of climate-sensitive infectious diseases (CSID) research.
  • Where: Anywhere in the world (apart from mainland China)
  • How much: Up to £500,000 for research expenses, including salaries
  • Duration: Up to 5 years
  • The RFP: Go here to apply. Deadline: 31 Mar 2022

Wow … seriously cool! Even if you don’t apply, the literature review linked above is worth a scan: a search of the literature led to identification of only 37 predictive tools. Most were focused on vector-borne disease and most were focused on a relatively constrained geographic region … only 4 had a global scale.

And it looks like this could be the first of a series of calls on the links between climate and health, all part of of Wellcome’s new strategy of advancing scientific discovery to take on the world’s most pressing health issues via a focus on four key areas: Discovery Research, Infectious Disease, Mental Health, and Climate and Health. Go, Team Wellcome!

Very exciting! Could this be you? I hope so! Get busy and apply! 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 PAR Foundation has two open calls. First, are early career grants (students at bachelor and masters level, PhD students, and individuals graduating during 2020-2022) of up to ~€30k to support 1-year projects on prevention of antibiotic resistance. Second, grants up to ~€1000k to support projects with the potential to prevent infections and antibiotic resistance among elderly. Go here for details; the deadline for both is 10 Mar 2022.
  • NIAID has released a four-pronged BAA (Broad Agency Announcement (HHS-NIH-NIAID-BAA2022-1) that covers therapeutics (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral), vaccines (again, all 3 areas), and diagnostics. Lots of possibilities! The due date is 18 Mar 2022.
  • BARDA’s RFP to support new antibiotics for Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, Burkholderia pseudomallei is open through 6 April 2022. The RFP offers from funding from LO to Phase 2. Go here for the details.
  • JPIAMR’s 14th call is now open. Entitled “Disrupting drug resistance using innovative design”, the call seeks consortia that would seek to “improve the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections (including co-infection) and/or the prevention of the emergence/spread of resistance in humans, animals or plants through the improvement of the efficacy, specificity, delivery, combinations and/or repurposing of drugs and plant protection agents.” Bacteria, fungi, human health, animal health, and plant health are all in scope! Pre-proposals are due 8 Mar 2022; full proposals would be due 5 July 2022. Go here for details.
  • 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 contact@amractionfund.com.
  • 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 BIOCOM 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):

  • [If you missed it, you can now watch the video] 8 Dec: “The New Winds Pushing and Pulling Antibacterial Development.” This was a GREAT program that featured talks from the UK team behind the NHS “Netflix” pilot, Kevin Outterson’s recently released report documenting the need for global Pull incentives to have a value of $2.2 – 4.8b, and speakers covering PASTEUR and work in the EU on pull incentives. The video is here — please make time to listen to this program!
  • 2-3 Feb 2022 (virtual): 10th Advances Against Aspergillosis and Mucormycosis. Registration closes on 30 Jan 2022. Go here for details.
  • 2-3 Feb 2022 (virtual): Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Virtual Conference jointly organised by GARDP with the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC), Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Click here for details.
  • 4 Feb 2022 (virtual, 5-6.30p GMT): Launch of the GRAM (Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance) report. Sponsored by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the University of Oxford, the Fleming Fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust, this report by Murray et al. is based on 471 million individual records or isolates and 7585 study-location-years’ worth of data and shows that at least 1.27 million deaths per year are directly attributable to AMR. Amazing stuff! #AMRSOS! Go here to register. If you miss it, a post-event recording will be available.
  • 7 Feb 2022 (virtual, 10a-11.30a and 3:30p-5p CET): 2-part webinar entitled Antimicrobial Consumption & Use – Data for Action as part of the WHO Global Webinar Series. Be sure to register for both session 1 and session 2
  • 23 Feb 2022 (virtual, 8-9a EST): Pre-application webinar to provide more information and to answer questions. Register here.
  • 3 Mar 2022 (virtual, 2p GMT): The Longitude Prize (run by Nesta Challenges), CARB-X and FIND, have joined forces for a virtual event in March, AMR& Diagnostic Frontiers: Developing and increasing access to innovative diagnostics in and for low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). Full agenda details and registration can be found here, including an invitation for diagnostic companies to pitch to a panel of global health representatives.
  • 3-6 Mar 2022 (Albuquerque, New Mexico): Biannual meeting of the MSGERC (Mycoses Study Group Education and Research Consortium). Details are here.
  • 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.
  • 9 Mar 2022 (virtual, and in-person): BioInfect Conference, Alderley Park, UK (near Manchester). This long-running Bionow-sponsored annual conference draws a very strong audience. Go here for details.
  • 7-8 Apr 2022 (Basel and in person, we hope): The 6th edition of the annual AMR conference sponsored by the BEAM AllianceCARB-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.

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