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Antibiotic Resistance

Working Together to Fight AMR

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Experts from the World AMR Congress 2022 discuss cross-sector solutions for combating antimicrobial resistance worldwide.

Aleks Engel

Director, REPAIR Impact Fund, Novo Holdings

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) space in 2023?

Lack of momentum on reimbursement change causing further decay in antimicrobial investments.

What would you like to highlight about your work/your organization for this coming year?

We are working on closing two new investments in Q1.

Do you have any predictions for the AMR space in 2023 and beyond?

There is significant momentum on ESG investing and AMR needs to be more closely tied into this agenda and
hopefully catch some of those tailwinds.

Mark Albrecht

Branch Chief, Antimicrobials Program, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)

What are some of the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that can be applicable in overcoming the “silent pandemic” of AMR?

The surge in AMR infections during the pandemic clearly showed that antibiotics are essential medicines in responding to any public health emergency, whether it’s a natural disaster, an act of terrorism, or a disease outbreak.

How can we better collaborate across industries, sectors, and stakeholders to overcome the challenges of AMR?

The challenges of AMR can be solved only by the private and public sectors working together. What we’ve learned in BARDA’s 15-year history of partnering successfully with industry and other stakeholders is that these relationships must be true partnerships through which experience, technical expertise, funding, and other resources from all partners are brought to the table to build robust relationships.

What is an important message you would like to personally convey to the general public?

Antimicrobial resistance is an urgent global public health threat, and we all play a role in combating it. At BARDA, we’re doing everything we can to spur new antimicrobial development. If you have an innovative solution to tackle this challenging issue, we’d like to hear from you.

Gareth Morgan

Head, Global Portfolio Management and AMR Policy, Shionogi Inc.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the AMR space in 2023?

We’ve been talking about AMR issues for quite a while and there is a risk that the energy and focus on AMR may start to wane. Hence one of our top challenges is keeping AMR in the spotlight and a priority for governments globally. We need governments around the world to take action and to implement their AMR National Action Plans, particularly those that address the economic issues. On a related note, we must do a better job raising public awareness of AMR. People are supportive of addressing AMR when they know what it is, but far too many people don’t even know what AMR stands for.

What would you like to highlight about your work/your organization for this coming year?

Shionogi is collaborating with the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) and
Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to implement a low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) access strategy. Antibiotic access in LMICs is not an easy issue to address, and people in LMICs experience a disproportionately high
burden of drug-resistant bacterial infections. These pathogens don’t need passports, so resistance that develops in a low-income country today can easily become a global problem tomorrow.

If you could wave a magic wand, what would you like to see occur in the coming year to further combat AMR?

I would like to see the PASTEUR legislation signed into law. PASTEUR would create a strong incentive for antibiotic innovation and would be such a game changer for AMR-focused antibiotics in the United States. Passing PASTEUR would set a great precedent for other countries with knock-on benefits around the world.

Any additional comments?

COVID-19 has delivered a worldwide wake-up call regarding the danger of infectious diseases. AMR is just as much of a concern, and we need to carry forward the COVID-19 energy to the AMR space.

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