- New antimicrobial resistance (AMR) strategy focuses on optimizing use of antimicrobials, preserving efficacy of new drugs and empowering surveillance efforts
- Four new collaborations will begin in 2018, to advance key aspects of AMR related to diagnostics
Geneva, Switzerland – 30 January 2018 – The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) announced today the release of a new strategy on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that will guide the organization’s investments in combatting AMR by accelerating the use of diagnostics. The strategy was launched at a landmark AMR stakeholders’ meeting in South Africa – the first to focus on the role of diagnostics in AMR.
In parallel, FIND announced four new collaboration agreements that will commence in 2018 to address AMR and other diagnostic challenges in resource-poor settings: with BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company); Fondation Botnar; the Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP), a joint initiative by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi); and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC).
It is estimated that 700,000 deaths each year are caused by drug-resistant pathogens. By 2050, if no actions are taken to contain AMR, that figure is predicted to rise to 10 million deaths per year. The economic and human cost of this global health threat will fall disproportionately on lower- and middle-income countries. Diagnostics play a key role in containing the proliferation of drug-resistant bacteria, viruses and parasites. Widespread, consistent use of diagnostic tests to identify disease-causing pathogens and determine the presence of drug resistance enables doctors to provide patients appropriate treatment regimens. Data from connected diagnostics enables surveillance of drug resistance and informs precision global health interventions.
FIND’s strategy on AMR is focused on optimizing use of antimicrobials, preserving the efficacy of new drugs and enabling national and global surveillance. FIND, in collaboration with partners, will tackle the main barriers in implementation of diagnostic solutions for AMR by facilitating creation of “fit-for-purpose” diagnostic tests, collecting evidence to inform policy development, and accelerating equitable access to diagnostics in low- and middle-income countries.
An emerging portfolio of AMR-focused initiatives reflects FIND’s robust commitment in this space. FIND has established collaboration agreements with:
- BD, to conduct clinical studies in low- and middle-income countries once they have completed the development of their viral vs bacterial triage tests.
- GARDP, hosted by DNDi who have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with FIND, to explore opportunities to complement work done by other actors in the field of diagnostic requirements of STI antibiotics stewardship, and to explore ways to promote and stimulate others (including funders) to engage in relevant R&D for diagnostics.
- Fondation Botnar, to develop and implement a diagnostic toolkit – “Dx in a Bx” – that can be used by frontline health workers to reach, diagnose and make treatment or triaging decisions for children with a fever in resource-limited settings, which would help reduce overuse of antibiotics. Specific information on this collaboration will be released in the coming weeks.
- SAMRC, who have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with FIND to identify collaborative opportunities for joint research, development, manufacturing, introduction and scale-up of innovative health technologies and programmes that result in the reduction of mortality and morbidity due to AMR and tuberculosis. Individual projects will be announced on commencement.
“We are honoured to be working with such prestigious, capable collaborators and to have been awarded exciting grant opportunities,” said Dr Cassandra Kelly, Director of Emerging Threats at FIND.
 Adeyi, Olusoji O.; Baris, Enis; Jonas, Olga B.; Irwin, Alec; Berthe, Franck Cesar Jean; Le Gall, Francois G.; Marquez, Patricio V.; Nikolic, Irina Aleksandra; Plante, Caroline Aurelie; Schneidman, Miriam; Shriber, Donald Edward; Thiebaud, Alessia. 2017. Drug-resistant infections : a threat to our economic future (Vol. 2) : final report (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/323311493396993758/final-report
FIND was established in 2003 as a global non-profit dedicated to accelerating the development, evaluation and delivery of high-quality, affordable diagnostic tests for poverty-related diseases, now including malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, sleeping sickness, hepatitis C, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, Buruli ulcer, non-malarial fever and diseases with outbreak potential, such as Ebola. FIND has partnered in the delivery of 20 new diagnostic tools and created an enabling environment for numerous others through the provision of specimen banks, reagent development and better market visibility. FIND also supports better access to new diagnostics through implementation, quality assurance and lab strengthening work. FIND has nearly 200 partners globally, including research institutes and laboratories, health ministries and national disease control programmes, commercial partners, bilateral and multilateral organizations, especially WHO, and clinical trial sites.
Sarah-Jane Loveday, Head of Communications, FIND
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