Source: AMR action fund newsletter
AMR Action Fund July Newsletter
UPDATES FROM THE AMR ACTION FUND
A Message from Dr. Henry Skinner
CEO, AMR Action Fund
In July 2020, the AMR Action Fund was launched. Now, one year later, we’ve gone from an idea to near operationalization of the Fund. Most recently, we’ve appointed the chair of our Scientific Advisory Board, published new Stewardship and Access Principles, raised awareness of AMR and the role of the Fund through participation in global events, and are preparing for more announcements in the coming weeks and months – all bringing us closer to our first investment and to bringing novel antibiotics to market.
While we are still dealing with global challenges around COVID-19, there is hope in the safe and effective vaccines that have been developed. The incredible investment, attention and collaboration on the part of both pharmaceutical manufacturers and governments in the face of COVID-19 is why we are fortunate to have life-saving vaccines and treatments today. It shows what we’re capable of accomplishing if governments and the pharma industry work together and enact policies that reflect the needs of global wellbeing.
While COVID-19 has highlighted our vulnerability to infectious disease, AMR is an entirely preventable and predictable crisis – we just need to stay ahead of it. Yet the broken market has led to a drastic gap in funding, limiting new antibiotic discovery and development. That’s why the AMR Action Fund was launched– to bridge this gap in funding and help get medicines to the patients who need them. Importantly, we all have a role to play in combatting AMR, including policymakers. Decisive government action is needed to drive sustainable investments in antibiotic delivery.
The current moment and attention given to global healthcare is encouraging, and the past year and a half has shown us what proper investment and innovation can yield for patient benefit. Let’s maintain that emphasis on global safety and invest in policies that will pave the way for a more sustainable antibiotic pipeline. We have a critical opportunity to get ahead of the AMR curve and avoid another – potentially worse – global health crisis. We must not waste it.
Chief Executive Officer
This month the AMR Action Fund announced the appointment of physician and veteran drug developer John H. Rex, MD as Chair of the AMR Action Fund’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Dr. Rex brings over 30 years of drug development and policy experience focused on antimicrobial agents to the SAB, which has the mandate to decide on targets to bring forward for potential investment. The SAB will provide scientific expertise and evaluate the public health and technical aspects of potential investments, reviewing all investments under consideration by the Fund to determine if a potential target meets the Fund’s Scientific Charter. This marks another step forward in the Fund’s efforts to address AMR through innovative solutions.
The AMR Action Fund published new Stewardship and Access Principles, reaffirming the Fund’s commitment to ensuring that the novel antibiotics it invests in are used appropriately and are accessible to the patients who need them. The AMR Action Fund will leverage its investments and capabilities platform to ensure portfolio companies meet these principles. Read more about the principles here.
Last month at the BIO Digital 2021 Convention, AMR Action Fund CEO Henry Skinner joined Senator Michael Bennet and Jenelle Krishnamoorthy, Interim Vice President of Global Public Policy at Merck & Co., on a panel discussion on the broken antibiotic pipeline. This year’s BIO Digital’s theme “RISE Together” truly embodied the innovation and collaboration needed to combat this slow-burning threat. This is also at the heart of the Fund, a global partnership which aims to bring 2-4 new antibiotics to market by 2030. But policymakers need to take action, too. One promising example is the PASTEUR Act sponsored by Senator Bennet, a bipartisan bill that would establish a value-based subscription-style model for novel antibiotics.
Dr. Skinner also engaged in additional industry events, including the BioInfect Conference, speaking at a session on the changing face of AMR R&D, along with panelists from Roche, the TB Alliance, Ineos Oxford Institute and Pfizer.
The Global Business for Health Partnership invited Dr. Skinner to participate in a panel at their event , “AMR – From G20 Commitments to Measurable Action,” bringing together senior representatives from G20 governments, global health leads and industry. Moderated by Dame Sally Davies, UK Special Envoy on AMR, the panel discussed the challenges facing AMR innovation, recent efforts (i.e., PASTEUR and DISARM Acts from the US) and how to drive actions toward solutions. Dr. Skinner made the case for the need for a sustainable antibiotic market and for policy changes to ensure that market can thrive.
AMR Action Fund Head of External Affairs, Silas Holland, provided remarks at the Anti-infectives Drug Development Summit in April about re-imagining anti-infective drug development to ensure economic sustainability and the AMR Action Fund’s role in strengthening and accelerating antibiotic development.
In June, the Access to Medicine Foundation released a new report, as part of their Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark research program, examining how small drugmakers are finding new ways to survive and bring their life-saving antibiotics to patients. The report notes that with better incentives, we could achieve global access, echoing the AMR Action Fund’s call for more “pull” incentives. Perhaps most notably, the report finds that small and medium-sized biotechnology companies account for 75% of antibiotics in late-stage development, highlighting the fact that these are the companies most at risk of running out of funding in the “valley of death.”
For further information on events please visit the Resources section at www.amractionfund.com/resources/.
IN THE NEWS
See below for highlights of media coverage on the AMR Action Fund, including an op-ed penned by CEO Henry Skinner.
Why it’s time to speak up about antimicrobial resistance, European Pharmaceutical Manufacturer
For further news updates please visit the Resources section at www.amractionfund.com/resources/
The AMR Action Fund’s Twitter and LinkedIn accounts share relevant content and news around the Fund and AMR developments. We encourage you to follow the AMR Action Fund’s social media handles and share our content across your platforms.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE AMR ACTION FUND
The AMR Action Fund remains committed to bridging the gap between the small biotechs developing novel antibiotics and commercialization.
The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of the AMR Action Fund will have the responsibility of providing rigorous, independent technical assessments of potential investments and thus will play a fundamental role in the Fund’s mission to bring 2-4 novel antibiotics to patients by 2030. Following our announcement of Dr. John H. Rex as Chair of the SAB, we look forward to announcing the appointments for the full SAB soon.
The AMR Action Fund is focused on identifying potential investments and is aiming to make its first investments later this year.
Thank you to all our partners for your continued support of the AMR Action Fund. If you’d like to speak to the AMR Action Fund as a part of any upcoming media interviews or events, please reach out to Silas Holland (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.