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IFPMA launches AMR Action Fund to tackle antimicrobial resistance

Pharma and health organisations unite to address public health threat

IFPMA

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) has raised nearly $1bn to support clinical research into new antibiotics in a bid to tackle growing antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The AMR Action Fund was created to bring two to four new antibiotics to patients by 2030 – treatments which are urgently needed to address the rapid rise of antibiotic resistance, which is a part of the broader issue of antimicrobial resistance. The launch of this new fund is the result of a collaboration among major pharmaceutical companies represented by the IFPMA, alongside the European Investment Bank (EIB), Wellcome Trust and the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to the IFPMA, each year 700,000 people die as a result of AMR, with some analysts estimating that by 2050 as many as ten million people could lose their lives each year because of the increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistant infections.

In May 2015, the World Health Assembly adopted a global action plan on AMR, outlining five objectives including improving awareness and understanding of AMR, as well as developing the economic case for sustainable investment to increase the development of new medicines to tackle the growing health crisis.

“We must act together to rebuild the pipeline and ensure that the most promising and innovative antibiotics make it from the lab to patients,” said Thomas Cueni, director general of the IFPMA.

“The AMR Action Fund is one of the largest and most ambitious collaborative initiatives ever undertaken by the pharmaceutical industry to respond to a global public health threat,” he added.

Despite the global need for new medicines to treat antibiotic resistant infections, there has been a drought in research and development – especially among big pharmaceutical companies. For many major drugmakers, there is a profound lack of financial incentive for the development of new antibiotics, given the fact that the most effective medicines are usually kept in reserve and only used when infections do not respond to older agents.

This investment drought has led to the collapse of a number of smaller companies focused solely on the development of antibiotics, such as Melinta – a biotech company whose pipeline was filled with new antibiotic candidates and research, but had to file for bankruptcy earlier this year. It seems that the tide is beginning to turn in the development of new antibiotics, however, signalled by the creation of AMR Action Fund, with a number of major companies investing in the scheme.

That includes Pfizer, which has pledged $100m to the newly launched fund to help address the global public health need for new AMR treatments. Pfizer is one of the few large, research-based pharmaceutical companies that are still active in research and development for anti-infectives. German drug developer Boehringer Ingelheim has also contributed $50m to the AMR Action Fund to boost the development of novel treatments against the global health threat.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

10th July 2020

From: Research

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