On 7-8 September 2022, as part of its outreach efforts, ICARS joined the annual gathering of more than 1000 stakeholders for the World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Congress in Washington DC. The conference, running since 2015, was attended by public institutions and private companies, leaders, policymakers and organisations working to mitigate AMR around the world. The event provided an opportunity to discuss and advance solutions primarily within innovation, research and development to combat the pressing global AMR crisis, as well as a platform for networking with different actors working across the AMR landscape.
Dr. Ghada Zoubiane, Head of Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement at ICARS, spoke on the panel entitled Collaboration for access in high impact countries – bringing products and tools to the right patient, place, and problem, moderated by Anand Anandkumar, Chief Executive Officer of Bugworks Research.
With a focus on collaborations to meet local challenges in countries with the highest burden of AMR, the panel discussed the latest public private partnership between Shionogi, GARDP and CHAI to expand access to Cefiderocol in 135 countries. On the panel, ICARS highlighted the need for a sustainable ecosystem of innovation, where both access to antibiotics complemented with stewardship efforts are developed and tested in local settings. In her intervention, Ghada shared ICARS’ model of partnering with Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) to test locally tailored interventions including innovation uptake, to advance National Action Plan implementation. Other speakers on the panel included:
- Gareth Morgan, Head, Global Portfolio Management and AMR Policy, Shionogi Pharma
- Jennifer Cohn, Global Access Project Leader, Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP)
- Jaideep Gogtay, Chief Medical Officer, Cipla
- Valeria Gigante, Team Lead, World Health Organization
- David Ripin, Executive Vice President of Infectious Diseases & Chief Science Officer, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc.
With a broad spread of expertise across the public and private sector on both national and international levels, the energetic panel discussed a range of pressing issues. These included how to facilitate evidence uptake in LMICs, and the need to work globally involving a range of stakeholders especially from LMICs.
The congress highlighted the desperate need for political commitment at the highest level, with Secretary Xavier Becerra, Department of Health and Human Services encouraging everyone to “take this moment and turn it into a movement”. Many sessions focused on USA’s efforts to support AMR innovation and different models to incentivise innovations were discussed including efforts through the Pasteur Act.
The conference provided a great opportunity for ICARS to connect with partners and potential donors from the USA and we look forward to 2023 where the Congress promises to have more global representation, especially from LMICs where the burden is the highest and where innovation alongside infection prevention and control efforts should be supported.
Side meetings and catch ups
While in the USA, the ICARS delegation, including Acting Executive Director and Director of Operations, Helle Engslund Krarup, Scientific Director, Dr Robert Skov and Dr Ghada Zoubiane met with existing and prospective partners to discuss complementary initiatives and opportunities for collaboration.
These valuable in-person meetings provided an opportunity to build relationships, share learnings and discuss complementary initiatives and future strategic directions. Over the coming months we look forward to following up on these productive conversations and further scoping out new collaborative projects.