At 9am ET on 28 April 2023, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce will meet to have a very exciting hearing. In this time of what can feel like constant political drama, a committee hearing might sound dull but I promise you it will be anything but for those of us with an intense interest in antimicrobial resistance.
The Committee on Energy and Commerce was formed in 1795 and has the broadest jurisdiction of any US congressional authorizing committee. The Committee is split into seven subcommittees and, while you might assume that AMR would fall under the Health or the Innovation, Data, and Commerce committee, it is actually Oversights and Investigations that is running Friday’s hearing entitled “Antimicrobial Resistance: Examining an Emerging Public Health Threat”. The hearing will stream live on YouTube and, if you are unable to watch live, you can watch it later on the official YouTube channel.
When the hearing was announced last week, the Oversight and Investigations Chair issued the following statement —
“Scientists, researchers, and health care practitioners are becoming increasingly concerned about the dangers of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens, including bacterial ‘superbugs.’ The rise in drug-resistant infections has placed a heavy burden on the nation’s health care system. As the numbers of drug-resistant pathogenic strains continues to grow, it is critical to reassess Congress’ role in preventing the spread of these pathogens and in developing effective countermeasures to keep Americans safe. This hearing will provide members and the public an opportunity to better understand what antimicrobial resistance is, the impact of drug-resistant infections on the U.S. health care system; and the importance of antimicrobial stewardship and the development of alternative therapies to address this problem.”
As part of the public announcement of the hearing, a memo from the committee is available and provides a brief summary of what we might expect to hear discussed. There will be 4 witnesses called during the hearing and their statements are available to read online (at the time of writing, only 3 of the 4 were available). The speakers are Amanda Jezek of Infectious Diseases Society of America, Kevin Outterson of CARB-X, Mary Denigan-Macauley of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and Amy J. Mathers of the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
Considering how many pressing issues exist in our world, to have a hearing about AMR is fantastic to see. The PASTEUR Act might yet become a reality! Helping others understand, particularly those in government positions that can move the needle, is the next step. If you want to make sure your own representative knows about this hearing or you’d just like to tell them what they can do about the AMR crisis, write them or call them now.
Mark your calendars, prep your coffee, and tell your colleagues! Friday is going to be an exciting day for the fight against superbugs!
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)
- [UPDATED – New application round] CARB-X again has an open-round for funding applications with a deadline of 1 May 2023. Applications are sought for any of 3 themes (oral products, vaccines for neonatal sepsis, gonorrhea products) as described in this newsletter!
- 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.
- BARDA’s long-running BAA-18-100-SOL-00003 offers support for both antibacterial and antifungal agents. This BAA has offered 4 deadlines/year since 2018 … check the most current amendment for details.
- 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/).
- 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):
- 8-12 May 2023 (Lisbon, Portugal): 41st Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases. Go here for details.
- 3-5 Jul 2023 (Tours, France): 9th Symposium on Antimicrobial Resistance in Animals and the Environment (ARAE). Sponsored by INRAE (French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment, itself a merger of merger of INRA, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, and IRSTEA, the French National Research Institute of Science and Technology for the Environment and Agriculture), this conference has been running since 2005. Go here for details.
- [NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS!] 7-15 Oct 2023 (residential, Annecy, France): ICARe, the Interdisciplinary Course on Antibiotics and Resistance. Now in its 7th year, this course is a deep-dive into the world of antibiotic development. Intense, rigorous, and HIGHLY recommended. Seats are always limited … apply sooner rather than later! Go here for details.
- 20-23 Oct 2023 (Athens, Greece): 11th TIMM (Trends in Medical Mycology). Go here for details.