The Office of Health Economics held a workshop last year with companies that presented their business and incentivization models: BAE Systems (defence), Allianz (insurance), Barclays Bank (finance), EDF Energy (energy), Dun & Bradstreet (corporate information) and Knowledge Unlatched (academic publishing). These models were then explored further for their applicability to antibiotics R&D.
Key points & recommendations from the workshop:
– There is a need for consolidated and focused research of antibiotic R&D. “There is a need for a an entity that pools resources, science and compounds; one that is sustainable and independent with focus on the research and early development of antibiotics in line with predefined public health-need profiles. This entity should find a way to open up the science to all working in this area.”
– The creation of a global funding vehicle putting together the resources from multiple companies, academic institutions and public bodies, in order to fund the appropriate research, early development and good stewardship of antibiotics.
– The implementation of new commercial business model for antibiotics delinked from price/volume.
Find out more: New Business Models for Antibiotics
3 new sources:
1. Herbicide: as described in the article, “while a bacteria alone might have been killed by an antibiotic, when exposed to an herbicide, a resistance gene is turned on, in effect “‘immunizing’ the bacteria to the antibiotic.””
2. Dust: “antibiotic-resistant bacteria are being spread from cattle yards through dust laden with excrement. Given the winds and droughts in some areas, dust bowls could spread the resistant bugs for hundreds of miles.”
3. Heavy metals: “heavy metals, added to feed as growth promoters, can also select for antibiotic resistance. Pollution with heavy metals—even at very low levels— can promote bacteria with multiresistance plasmids (small bits of extrachromosomal DNA)”.
Additionally, some emerging markets are the home of companies without environmental consideration. It is known that some India-based drug companies are dumping waste in water. Without proper sanitation, it is a huge health concern for the population.
This Forbes article is informative and insightful about what might cause antibiotic resistance and how we could modify our behaviors in order to control this issue.
Antibiotics have saved countless lives in the last 80 years, but they’re not as effective as they once were. We use too many of them, and so bacteria are developing resistance more quickly than we can come up with new drugs. Why are we using too many of them? Because they are too cheap. We even use antibiotics to make cattle grow faster… The price of the new antibiotics should be much higher to discourage their use in farms and protect human health.
Fast Company Article
Rob Knight is a pioneer in studying human microbes, the community of tiny single-cell organisms living inside our bodies that have a huge — and largely unexplored — role in our health. “The three pounds of microbes that you carry around with you might be more important than every single gene you carry around in your genome,” he says. Find out why. Human microbiota (Wikipedia entry) Rob Knight’s Lab
AstraZeneca will spend USD 40 million to create a new stand-alone subsidiary focused on early-stage research and development of small molecule anti-infectives. AstraZeneca is one of the big Pharma, together with Roche, that is focusing on the development of new solutions for drug-resistant bacteria. Read more
Here’s a very compelling article written by about it.
THE bacteria are winning. Every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least two million people are infected with bacteria that can’t be wiped out with antibiotics, and as a result, 23,000 people die. Direct health care costs from these illnesses are estimated to be as high as $20 billion annually. Read more