WHO Seeking Antifungal Resistance Fighting Consultant Located Anywhere!

Note: Please use the copy of the newsletter posted at https://amr.solutions/ if you have trouble with links in this newsletter.

Dear All,
 
WHO have just today posted a very interesting fungus-focused consultancy role. Even if you’re not looking for a role yourself, it is instructive to examine the goals for this role as it gives you some insight into WHO’s forward planning following on the heels of the WHO fungal priority pathogens list (FPPL) report. As further context, see also this 25 Oct 2022 newsletter and the integrated summary of all Priority Pathogen Lists to date that you can find at https://amr.solutions/pathogens-and-pipelines/.
 
As to the posting, here are the high level details:

  • Position: Fungal Infections and Antifungal Resistance Consultant
  • Application deadline: 23 October 2023
  • Duration: 11 months at 50-100%
  • Purpose:
    • “To provide technical expertise in implementing primary recommended actions outlined in the WHO fungal priority pathogens list (FPPL) report.
    • “This includes sustaining investments in research, development, and innovation, as well as enhancing public health interventions and evidence-based actions to prevent and control fungal infections and antifungal resistance.”
  • Major deliverables (full details below my signature)
    • Deliverable 1: Facilitate the development of a Global Blueprint for Invasive Fungal Disease (IFD) and AMR prevention and control
    • Deliverable 2: Contribute to Advocacy in Scientific Mycology Research
  • Key skills required (excerpt): “Advanced degree in medical mycology, microbiology, or related fields.”

 
Well done, Team WHO! Could this be the job for you or someone you know?

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.

Deliverables

  • Deliverable 1: Facilitate the development of a Global Blueprint.
    • 1.1 Facilitate a comprehensive literature review to identify research gaps and opportunities in medical/clinical, AMR, ecology, and genetics research related to pathogens in the WHO FPPL.
      Expected by: 7 October 2023
    • 1.2 Contribute to a global situational analysis to assess existing policies, programs, and strategies for IFDs and antifungal resistance prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and control. This includes conducting a desk review and participating in roundtable interviews with experts in basic research, public health, R&D, and mycology.
      Expected by: 7 November 2023
    • 1.3 Summarize findings from the literature review and situational analysis, highlighting gaps in mycology research and policies/strategies for IFDs and antifungal resistance prevention and control, along with proposed opportunities for action.
      Expected by: 1 December 2023
    • 1.4 Ensure the creation of a project shared drive to store, manage, and archive all databases, surveys, articles, summary reports, and outputs generated throughout the process.
      Expected by: 20 December 2023
    • 1.5 Contribute to the preparation of the global consultation meeting, including providing background materials, assisting in agenda development, sending out invitation letters, estimating costs, coordinating the venue, managing participant and speaker communication, and contributing to the drafting of a meeting report for the global blueprint consultation.
      Expected by: 20 December 2023
    • 1.6 Contribute to the drafting and production of a global strategy (blueprint) for IFD and AMR prevention and control based on the expert consultation meeting and guidance from the WHO IRC Unit’s technical lead.
      Expected by: 15 February 2024
    • 1.7 Contribute to the dissemination of the blueprint report and its findings/recommendations through the development of necessary communication materials such as talking points, PowerPoint presentations, scientific articles, and online webinars.
      Expected by: 24 February 2024
  • Deliverable 2: Contribute to Advocacy in Scientific Mycology Research.
    • 2.1 Facilitate the development and implementation of activities, including four technical webinars, at least one infographic, and a social media awareness campaign during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), to promote knowledge and interest in medical mycology and mycology research, focusing on pathogens in the WHO FPPL and the identified knowledge gaps. 
      Expected by: 30 January 2024
    • 2.2 Contribute to the development of policy advocacy briefs and communication materials, such as scientific articles, talking points, PowerPoint presentations, and online webinars.
      Expected by: 28 February 2024

Current funding opportunities (most current list is here)

  • BARDA’s long-running BAA (Broad Agency Announcement) for medical countermeasures (MCMs) for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases is now BAA-23-100-SOL-00004 and offers support for both antibacterial and antifungal agents (as well as antivirals, antitoxins, diagnostics, and more). Note especially these Areas of Interest: Area 3.1 (MDR Bacteria and Biothreat Pathogens), Area 3.2 (MDR Fungal Infections), and Area 7.2 (Antibiotic Resistance Diagnostics for Priority Bacterial Pathogens). Although prior BAAs used a rolling cycle of 4 deadlines/year, the updated BAA released 26 Sep 2023 has a 5-year application period that ends 25 Sep 2028 and is open to applicants regardless of location: BARDA seeks the best science from anywhere in the world! See also this newsletter for further comments on the BAA and its areas of interest.
  • ARPA-H has an Open BAA that is accepting applications through 14 March 2024. It is quite wide-ranging in its scope and definitely includes AMR-related projects. See this newsletter for discussion of the BAA and an AMR project that it now supports.
  • HERA Invest was launched August 2023 with €100 million to support innovative EU-based SMEs in the early and late phases of clinical trials. Part of the InvestEU program supporting sustainable investment, innovation, and job creation in Europe, HERA Invest is open for application to companies developing medical countermeasures that address one of the following cross-border health threats: (i) Pathogens with pandemic or epidemic potential, (ii) Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats originating from accidental or deliberate release, and (iii) Antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Non-dilutive venture loans covering up to 50% of investment costs are available. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; go here for all the details.
  • The ENABLE-2 consortium has announced a call to support hit-to-lead compound development by researchers at publicly-funded European universities. The call is focused on molecules with the potential to be direct-acting therapies for one or more of the following priority pathogens: ESBL-producing/carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (E. coli, K. pneumoniae), P. aeruginosa, A. baumannii, methicillin-resistant S. aureus, or vancomycin-resistant E. faecium. The Call is open continuously, applications are reviewed at intervals, and funding is non-dilutive. Expressions of interest received before 30 Sep 2023 would be considered in November 2023. Applications received after this date will be evaluated in the spring of 2024 (date to be decided). Go to https://www.ilk.uu.se/enable2/apply/ for further 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 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/).
  • These things aren’t sources of funds but would help you develop funding applications
    • 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.
    • Diagnostic developers would find valuable guidance in this 6-part series on in vitro diagnostic (IVD) development. Sponsored by CARB-XC-CAMP, and FIND, it pulls together real-life insights into a succinct set of tutorials.
  • 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):

  • General note: Virtual meetings are easy to attend, but regular attendance at in-person events is the key to networking and deeper insight. My personal favorites for such in-person meetings are marked below as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and are the BEAM Alliance’s AMR Conference (March, Europe), ECCMID (April, Europe), the ASM-ESCMID Developer’s meeting (September, alternates sides of the Atlantic), and ID Week (October, USA). Of particular value for developers are the AMR Conference and the ASM-ESCMID conference. Hope to see you there!
  • 11-15 Oct 2023 (Boston, USA): IDWeek 2023, the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Go here for details and to register. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
  • 12 Oct 2023 (virtual, 2-3p CET) GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “Market interventions to improve access to antibiotics for resistant infections.” Go here to register.
  • 18 Oct 2023 (virtual, 7.30a-9a EST): Webinar from CSE India entitled “Recognizing antibiotics as a global public good: challenges and possibilities”. Go here for details.
  • 19 Oct 2023 (virtual, 3p-4.30p CET): Webinar enititled “People-centred approach to addressing antimicrobial resistance in human health” as part of the WHO Global Webinar Series to Support Implementation of National Action Plans on Antimicrobial Resistance. Go here to register.
  • 20-23 Oct 2023 (Athens, Greece): 11th TIMM (Trends in Medical Mycology). Go here for details.
  • 7-9 Nov 2023 (Atlanta, USA): 13th Annual Antibiotics Symposium hosted by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture. Go here for details. 
  • [NEW] 13-14 Nov 2023 (virtual and Washington DC, USA): BARDA Industry Day 2023. Go here for more details. 
  • 14-15 Nov 2023 (Rockville, Maryland, USA and virtual): NIAID workshop entitled “Systematic Approaches for ESKAPE Bacteria Antigen Discovery”. Go here for details. 
  • 6-7 Feb 2024 (online): Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Conference. This is an annual, free of charge conference that is co-organized by GARDP and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC). Details to follow — for now, just mark your calendar.
  • 6-7 Mar 2024 (Basel,[NEW]  6-7 Mar 2024): Sponsored by the BEAM Alliance, the AMR Conference is now in its 8th year and is consistently an excellent meeting for developers. You can’t register yet but you can mark your calendar and signup for notifications about the meeting. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
  • 17-22 Mar 2024 (Ventura Beach, CA, in person): Gordon Research Conference (GRC) entitled “New Antibacterial Discovery and Development” with a 16-17 Mar 2024 pre-conference Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) for young doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. An intensive residential meeting, GRCs are highly recommended for networking and deep research insights. Apply here for the GRC and here for the GRS.
  • 27-30 April 2024 (Barcelona, Spain): 34th ECCMID, the annual meeting of the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Go here for details. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
  • 26-31 May 2024 (Montreal, Canada): EDAR7, the McGill AMR Centre’s 7th edition of their Environmental Dimension of Antimicrobial Resistance conference. Go here for details; final abstract deadline is 21 Dec 2023.
  • 13-17 June 2024 (Atlanta, Georgia): ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. You can’t register yet, but you can go here for general details.
  • 17-20 Sep 2024 (Porto, Portugal): ASM/ESCMID Joint Conference on Drug Development to Meet the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance. Go here for the meeting’s general website. You can’t register (yet) for the 2024 event, but you can mark your calendar. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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