BARDA Continues Transatlantic Collaboration to Address the Urgent Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance

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The Transatlantic Taskforce for Antimicrobial Resistance (TATFAR) launched its fourth implementation phase to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Over the past 12 years, BARDA and its many other partners on the taskforce have collaborated to combat AMR globally.

The release of the 2016-2020 TATFAR Progress Report (PDF - 3.69 MB) and 2021-2026 Draft Work Plan marks the beginning of a new phase of transatlantic collaboration and commitment to a ‘One Health’ approach to combat AMR. Over the past five years, BARDA has supported efforts within TATFAR’s key areas, focusing on reviewing strategies for improving the pipeline of new antimicrobial drugs and fostering international research and product development. During this new phase of implementation, BARDA will continue working with key TATFAR partners to accelerate the development of innovative technologies against AMR infections.

Despite the concerning rise of AMR pathogens, mobilizing industry to invest in and develop new drug candidates remains a significant challenge. Along with TATFAR member technical experts, BARDA scientists have co-authored two papers analyzing best practices and implementation strategies for incentivizing global antibacterial drug development: “Pull Incentives for Antibacterial Drug Development: An Analysis by the Transatlantic Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance” in 2017, and “Economic Incentives for Antibacterial Drug Development: Literature Review and Considerations From the Transatlantic Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance” in 2016. These recommendations can help guide pharmaceutical companies and industry partners along the drug development pathway.

In alignment with the TATFAR objectives to foster international research and product development, BARDA partnered in 2016 with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Wellcome Trust to fund the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) program. The accelerator focused on building a diverse, early-stage development portfolio of innovative products to treat, prevent, and diagnose antibiotic-resistant infections. With additional partnership from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the UK government’s Department of Health and Social Care through its Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CARB-X has supported 92 projects, leading to nine first-in-human clinical studies.

In addition to CARB-X, BARDA has supported 28 public-private partnerships with industry, ranging from small biotechnology firms to global pharmaceutical companies, resulting in three U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals of new antibiotics. Since 2010, BARDA has invested over $1.5 billion in antimicrobial development across all phases of development including preclinical, Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, and post-approval through CARB-X, the Advanced Research and Development portfolio, and Project BioShield.

In 2019, BARDA awarded its first Project BioShield contract for an antibacterial to Paratek Pharmaceuticals, supporting both the acquisition of their FDA-approved antibiotic NUZYRA (omadacycline) for national preparedness and its continued development as a countermeasure for biothreats. These activities supported the taskforce’s goal of facilitating clinical research and product development opportunities, and will continue in TATFAR’s new workplan for the next five-year implementation period.

Looking to the future, TATFAR members will collaborate on new activities detailed within the 2021-2026 Draft Work Plan, such as preventing drug resistant infections, strengthening the drug and diagnostic pipeline, and improving appropriate antimicrobial use in human health care and veterinary medicine through a One Health approach.

Over the next five years, BARDA will continue to work alongside other TATFAR members to expand the drug development pipeline and accelerate the advancement of diagnostics, vaccines, and drugs that help combat AMR infections and save lives. BARDA is proud to support TATFAR’s goals through continued research and development of new antimicrobial products and look forward to continued global coordination and collaboration to address the urgent threat of AMR.

Visit BARDA’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) medical countermeasures portfolio and the CBRN Antibacterial medical countermeasures program to learn more about efforts to expand the development pipeline and accelerate the progression of products that combat the rising global health threat of antibiotic-resistant infections.

Last Updated: September 14, 2021