Antibiotic resistance (ABR) is a global public health threat. Despite the emergence of highly resistant organisms and the huge medical need for new drugs, the development of antibacterials has slowed to an unacceptable level worldwide. Numerous government and non-government agencies have called for public-private partnerships and innovative funding mechanisms to address this problem. To respond to this public health crisis, the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking programme has invested more than €660 million, with a goal of matched contributions from the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, in the development of new antibacterial strategies. The New Drugs for Bad Bugs (ND4BB) programme, an Innovative Medicines Initiative, has the ultimate goal to boost the fight against ABR at every level from basic science and drug discovery, through clinical development to new business models and responsible use of antibiotics. Seven projects have been launched within the ND4BB programme to achieve this goal. Four of them will include clinical trials of new anti-infective compounds, as well as epidemiological studies on an unprecedented scale, which will increase our knowledge of ABR and specific pathogens, and improve the designs of the clinical trials with new investigational drugs. The need for rapid concerted action has driven the funding of seven topics, each of which should add significantly to progress in the fight against ABR. ND4BB unites expertise and provides a platform where the commitment and resources required by all parties are streamlined into a joint public-private partnership initiative of unprecedented scale.
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