More than EUR 56 million raised to fund initiative to fight antibiotic resistance

Germany together with a number of countries and foundations today pledged EUR 56.5 million to help develop new treatments to fight against antibiotic resistance, during a fundraising event for the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP), hosted in Berlin by the German Federal Ministry of Health and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.  The Netherlands will invest 2 million Euros to develop new treatments to fight antibiotic resistance, this pledge was made by Minister Edith Schippers.

GARDP was established in May 2016 as a not-for-profit research and development initiative by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). Funding will support GARDP’s four programme areas:

  • Sexually-transmitted Infections: GARDP has developed a roadmap to treat STIs, starting with a focus on gonorrhoea. In July 2017, in its first partnership with a company, GARDP announced its plans to co-develop zoliflodacin, one of the few drugs in the pipeline to treat drug resistant gonorrhoea, in a global Phase III clinical trial. Latest WHO data shows that more than 60% of countries surveyed across the world have reported resistance to the last-line antibiotic.
  • Antimicrobial Memory Recovery and Exploratory programme: The Memory Recovery programme will engage more than 100 world-class experts in its bid to recoup essential knowledge and lost memory of abandoned antibiotic development projects to help identify new drug opportunities. A digital hub, “REVIVE”, will provide a space for experts and new researchers to network and learn.
  • Neonatal Sepsis: An estimated 214,000 neonatal sepsis deaths each year are believed to result from drug-resistant infections. GARDP will initiate work to develop new treatment regimens for babies with neonatal sepsis.
  • Paediatric Antibiotic Platform: Currently in development, this programme aims to optimize current treatments and accelerate the development of new antibiotics specifically adapted for children, through an R&D programme which expects to include a network of clinical trials.

While antibiotic drug resistance is a recognized global public health threat, there are not enough new innovative treatments in the clinical pipeline that can overcome increasing resistance. Over the last thirty years, a combination of complex science, diminished return on investment led many companies to abandon their antibiotic development programmes.

Edith Schippers, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport of The Netherlands, said: “We know that the current business models for the development of new antibiotics do not work. We have to work on new models that result in relevant and affordable products that are used in a responsible way. This is exactly what GARDP will do, and why The Netherlands has supported GARDP from the beginning. It was a good decision from the G20 to lead on this topic and I am more than happy to contribute. Let’s hope that others will join soon: it is time to walk the talk.

Read the GARDP press release here.