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Antimicrobial (Drug) Resistance

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Fostering Research Partnerships to Address Antimicrobial (Drug) Resistance

An issue as complex as antimicrobial resistance requires a comprehensive approach that draws upon not only federal agencies and academic researchers, but also industry, healthcare providers, and individual citizens to advance basic and applied research as well as to support public health efforts.

Interagency Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are co-chairs of the Interagency Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance. Created in 1999, the task force includes a number of other federal agencies as well. In 2001, the representatives created an action plan outlining specific steps needed to combat antimicrobial resistance in healthcare and agricultural settings. A revised action plan was released in 2011. Annual reports describe the progress that has been made towards the outlined action items.

Trans Atlantic Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance (TATFAR)

TATFAR was established by a Presidential Declaration at the European Union (EU-U.S.) summit on November 3, 2009. The main goals of the task force are to increase the mutual understanding of U.S. and European Union activities and programs relevant to antimicrobial resistance issues, to deepen the transatlantic dialogue, to provide opportunities to learn from each other, and to promote information exchange, coordination, and cooperation. The outcomes of the task force include recommendations for areas of future cooperation between the EU and the U.S. presented at the EU-U.S. Summit and published in 2011. NIAID collaborated with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation to organize the 2011 TATFAR workshop on the Challenges and Solutions for the Development of New Diagnostic Tests to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance. U.S. representatives to TATFAR include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (co-chair), NIH (NIAID), CDC, and FDA.

Public-Private Partnerships

NIAID supports a variety of Public-Private Partnerships, which are collaborations between public institutions (governmental and academic) and non-governmental agencies (such as large pharmaceutical and small biotechnology companies), that will accelerate research and development of new drugs targeting infectious diseases. Some examples are

  • The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative; a multidisciplinary partnership to accelerate the discovery and development of new drugs to fight TB.
  • The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development; a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of new drug regimens for the treatment of drug-resistant and drug sensitive-TB.
  • Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV); a non-profit organization developing new drugs for malaria.
  • OneWorld Health; an affiliate of PATH that focuses on developing affordable new drugs for diseases that disproportionately affect the developing world.
  • Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi); a non-profit organization developing new treatments for neglected diseases, such as sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis), Chagas’ disease, leishmaniasis, filariasis, other helminth infections, malaria, and pediatric HIV.

Workshops on New Approaches to Prevent and Treat Infectious Diseases

NIAID is committed to discovering new ways to treat and prevent infectious diseases while minimizing the development of antimicrobial resistance. To advance this goal, NIAID has convened meetings bringing together representatives from academic institutions, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, non-profit organizations, and other government agencies. Examples include

  • Bridging the Gap – Overcoming Bottlenecks in the Development of Therapeutics for Infectious Diseases (2012): The workshop brought together leaders in the field of therapeutics to review the current state of product development research, encourage collaboration between seasoned and new investigators, and discuss innovative ways to address product development bottlenecks.
  • Staphylococcal Vaccine Workshop (2010): NIAID co-sponsored this workshop with CDC and FDA. Workshop participants discussed state-of-the-art approaches to developing a vaccine to prevent Staphylococcal infection, obstacles to developing these vaccines, and strategies for determining vaccine effectiveness. Staphylococcal vaccines could prevent MRSA infections and reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
  • Critical Path for Infectious Disease Therapeutic Targeting Host Pathways (2009): This workshop explored how to treat infectious diseases by targeting host pathways rather than the microbes themselves. NIAID is committed to supporting research on host-targeted interventions to treat infectious diseases. As an alternative to conventional antimicrobial drugs, this novel therapeutic approach could become a powerful new tool in the fight against drug resistance.

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Last Updated July 08, 2013