Support the FORWARD and PASTEUR Acts by signing a letter!

Dear All,

I’ve written before about the FORWARD Act, a bill introduced last year into Congress with the goal of supporting research in to treatment of endemic fungal diseases with a particular focus on coccidioidomycosis (*). It’s easy to see how this bill and the PASTEUR Act are mutually supportive … both seek to build and maintain the technical and people infrastructure needed to repair gaps in our antibacterial/antifungal armamentarium. 

Today, our colleagues at the Valley Fever Institute (VFI) of Kern County Medical are continuing their advocacy work (i.e., their call to action on the 18 May 2022 “Squash Superbugs Day of Action”; their graphical call to action shown below my signature) with an open letter to California’s US Congressional delegation. The message in the letter is simple:

  1. Valley Fever (aka, coccidioidomycosis, an invasive fungal infection) is a growing problem,
  2. California takes a lot of the burden of Valley Fever,
  3. And the passage of FORWARD + PASTEUR would make a difference!

If you’d like to support this push, you can view the draft letter here and sign it here on or before 10 Sep 2022. It’s really that simple!

But wait, there’s more! And in parallel, our colleagues at the Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the University of Arizona, have crafted a similar letter addressed to Arizona’s Congressional delegation. You can read and sign the letter here.

I am told that a letter to the Texas delegation is also in the works but that can be for a subsequent newsletter. Let’s go on and get these two signed. Importantly, everyone can sign both letters — your geography does not matter! Now is the time to keep building the political momentum for PASTEUR and FORWARD!

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.

*And for complete transparency, this would be a good time for me to re-iterate that I’m not an entirely disinterested observer with respect to FORWARD and PASTEUR. As noted on my bio page, I am the Chief Medical Officer for a privately owned biotech working on a novel antifungal compound. In addition, I work broadly across Industry to drive support for innovation.

Current funding opportunities (most current list is here)

  • The AMR Industry Alliance has announced their 2022 Stewardship Prize! The program offers 10,000 CHF to recognize established, innovative approaches to AMR stewardship in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The 2021 prize went to the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) in Kampala, Uganda for their best practices in diagnostic stewardship and for their patient awareness campaigns dedicated to decreasing inappropriate use of antibiotics in their specialist HIV clinic in Kampala. Applications for the 2022 prize are due August 31, 2022. Thinking in terms of stewardship, WHO have recently released a pair of courses through the OpenWHO platform:
  • 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.
  • [updated] INCATE (Incubator for Antibacterial Therapies in Europe) is an early-stage funding vehicle supporting innovation vs. drug-resistant bacterial infections. The fund provides advice, community, and non-dilutive funding (€10k in Stage I and up to €250k in Stage II) to support early-stage ventures in creating the evidence and building the team needed to get next-level funding. Details and contacts on their website (https://www.incate.net/).
  • New funding rounds from CARB-X are expected soon now that funding for the next 10 years has been announced! For the most current update, watch this 30-minute video from the June 2022 kick-off webinar.
  • 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):

  • 12-13 Sep 2022 (virtual, 9a-5p ET): This meeting of PACCARB is going to “identify key issues and critical policy gaps through a series of facilitated discussions examining a hypothetical large-scale disease outbreak scenario based on historic examples and estimates of future AMR outbreaks.” Sounds like pandemic wargaming (Center for Health Security; pre-COVID 19 May 2020 NPR article) to me! Go here for details.
  • 15 Sep 2022 (virtual, 2-4p ET): Duke-Margolis webinar entitled “Advancing Bacterial Diagnostic Development.” The Duke-Margolis webinars are always informative … this one will focus on strategies for regulatory clearance of new diagnostics. Go here for more details and to register.
  • 20-24 Sep 2022 (New Delhi): 21st Congress of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology (ISHAM). Go here for details.
  • [FDA AdComm … don’t miss it!] 22 Sep 2022 (virtual, 8.30-5.00p ET): FDA Advisory Committee discussing an application for approval of Rebyota (Fecal Microbiota, Live) with a requested indication to “reduce the recurrence of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in adults following antibiotic treatment for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection.” The P3 data on this product showed superiority over placebo … and the AdComm will be an important master class for everyone interested in microbiome-based therapies. Go here for details.
  • 4-7 Oct 2022 (Dublin, Ireland): The 2022 ASM/ESCMID Joint Conference on Drug Development to Meet the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance. This is an excellent meeting, especially for developers … and if you’ve missed it, the recordings from the 2021 meeting are online. Go here for details on the 2022 meeting.
  • [NEW] 13-14 Oct 2022 (virtual, 8.30a-5p ET). Workshop entitled “Accelerating the Development & Uptake of Rapid Diagnostics to Address Antibiotic Resistance.” Convened by the National Academies’ Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and TranslationForum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Disasters and Emergencies, and Forum on Microbial Threats (wow, say that 3 times fast!), this workshop has a broad-ranging agenda focused practical approaches to developing rapid, point-of-care diagnostics. Go here for details and to register.
  • 19-23 Oct 2022 (Washington, DC): IDWeek 2022, the joint annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP). Go here for details.
  • 15-23 Oct 2022 (in person, residential, Les Pensières, Veyrier-du-Lac, France): The 6th edition of Patrice Courvalin’s fabulous ICARe residential training course covering all things AMR is on for 2022! This is a soup-to-nuts training in AMR: it is very intense, very detailed, and always gets rave reviews from attendees. Registration is open 21 Mar 2022 to 21 June 2022 and is limited, so book your slot as soon as you can. Go here for details.
  • 19-23 Oct 2022 (Washington, DC): IDWeek 2022, the joint annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP). Go here for details.
  • 23 Oct 2022 (Cape Town, South Africa): Symposium entitled “Tackling AMR: How implementation research is vital in a One Health approach” sponsored by the AMR knowledge hub of TGHN (The Global Health Network). 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.
  • 17-20 Nov 2022 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia): The International Congress on Infectious Diseases will take place for the first time as a hybrid event. Go here for details. 
  • 27-30 Nov 2022 (Perth, Australia): 32nd International Congress of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy is the biennial congress of the International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (ISAC). Go here for details.
  • 3-7 Dec 2022 (Banff, Canada): Novel Approaches Against Emerging Antimicrobial Resistance by Keystone Symposia. Go here for details. 
  • 8-12 May 2023 (Lisbon, Portugal): 41st Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases. Go here for details.

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