Subject: AMR eNews - May 25, 2020

AMR eNews - May 25, 2020
antimicrobial resistance
research & policy

global headlines

Tracking the Global Pipeline of Antibiotics in Development

Pew and other organizations studying the issue of antibiotic resistance advocate for policies that address scientific, regulatory, and economic challenges to the development of new antibiotics.”  —The Pew Charitable Trusts
The Pew Charitable Trusts: The most recent assessment of the Global Pipeline shows that there are 41 new antibiotics in development. These drugs would potentially address many, but not all, resistant bacteria. However, given the inevitability that some of these antibiotics will fail to win approval, and that resistance will eventually develop to those that are approved, it is clear that there are too few drugs in development to meet current and anticipated patient needs.

Coronavirus Lessons for the Fight Against ‘Superbugs’

“We know about AMR, and we know what needs to be done: create a viable environment that fosters research and development and ensures that the growth of resistance is sustainably managed and controlled.” —Thomas Cueni, Director General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations
Financial Times: It was 2013 when Sally Davies, then England’s chief medical officer, realized a deadly problem was in the making. AMR was worsening, her advisers told her. Pipelines for drugs that could defeat such “superbugs” were drying up, they said. Though it has been seven years since Davies sounded her alarm, a solution has proved elusive. That, however, may be due as much to flawed economic incentives as to shortcomings in scientific research.

GARDP and Venatorx to Develop New Antibiotic for Hospital-Acquired Infections

“Antibiotic resistance presents a growing public threat and is exacerbated by global pandemics such as COVID-19.”
—Christopher J. Burns, President and CEO of Venatorx Pharmaceuticals

GARDP: Venatorx Pharmaceuticals and the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) are collaborating to accelerate the development of cefepime-taniborbactam. This drug is a combination of cefepime, an antibiotic, and taniborbactam, a broad-spectrum beta-lactamase inhibitor that restores the activity of cefepime against carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) and carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA).

Superbugs: What You Need to Know About the Secondary Effects of COVID-19

“The coronavirus outbreak is only the beginning of a much larger, and longer-term problem. But, it is certainly not a new problem. Just one that we have ignored.”  —Nicole Fisher, Founder and President of Health & Human Rights Strategies
Forbes: As we focus on the health emergency of the moment, COVID-19, we forget to consider secondary infections and their effects on patients and hospitals. Although most patients perish from respiratory distress, a subset of people are dying from secondary infections that attack the weakened immune system. In fact, a recent study published in The Lancet found that secondary infections were prevalent in coronavirus patients.
canadian responses

COVID-19 May Worsen the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis

"I’m hoping that once we get out of this, we’ll have a new appreciation of how vulnerable we are to infections... we really need to invest in new drugs and vaccines in advance." —Gerry Wright, Scientific Director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and the David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery at McMaster University
Wired: Even though COVID-19 is a viral illness not affected by antibiotics, early data from hospitals shows that very high proportions of patients are being treated with those drugs to cure or protect against secondary infections. That’s being accompanied by an unmeasured but possibly huge number of people taking antibiotics on their own, or with the encouragement of fringe researchers, in misguided attempts to protect themselves.

Discovery Opens New Avenues for Designing Drugs to Combat Drug-Resistant Malaria

“Our new findings offer the prospect to design anti-malarial drugs that selectively target the unique structure of the parasite-infected cells, especially in the early stages of infection.” —Sriram Subramaniam, the Gobind Khorana Canada Excellence Research Chair in the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine
The University of British Columbia: For the first time, UBC researchers have shown a key difference in the three-dimensional structures of a key metabolic enzyme in the parasite that causes malaria compared to its human counterpart. The findings, recently published in the International Union of Crystallography Journal, brings researchers one step closer to developing new therapies to combat drug-resistant malaria.

Knocking Back COVID-19 with Genomics

“One of the outcomes of this pandemic, I hope, will be that people become more humble about infectious diseases — that they understand that we're all very vulnerable and that we have to make investments into things like antibiotic discovery." —Gerry Wright on the Genome Alberta Podcast
Genome Alberta: People have genomes and so do viruses. As we find our way through this pandemic, those two genomes are key pieces needing immediate attention from researchers. Gerry Wright and his team at McMaster University  have the expertise in the application of genomics in identifying drug targets and finding possible therapeutic compounds. They have also been studying antibiotic resistance, which has added a wrinkle in the treatment of COVID-19.

Fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic Could Herald a Rise in Superbugs

"We've been saying for a very long time that antimicrobials should be used when we know that they help. They should not be widely and indiscriminately used." —Andrew Morris, Medical Director of the Sinai Health System-University Health Network Antimicrobial Stewardship Program
CTV News: Copious use of hand sanitizer and disinfectant is crucial in the fight against COVID-19, but it could be setting Canada back in the battle against superbugs. Microbiologists say antimicrobial resistant organisms are a pandemic on the same scale as COVID-19, though it will play out on a much longer timeline. Antimicrobial resistance was directly responsible for 5,400 deaths in 2018, according to a recent report by the Council of Canadian Academies.

The Joint Programming Initiative on AMR (JPIAMR) is seeking feedback to guide the development of its Virtual Research Institute. Deadline to participate: May 31.

CAIN is now on LinkedIn! The group is intended to serve as a forum for sharing important links, posting research achievements, and asking questions.
learning resources
The Council of Canadian Academies (2019): When Antibiotics Fail
G20 (Prepared by OECD, WHO, FAO and OIE) (2017): Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance - Ensuring Sustainable R&D
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019): Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2019
Jim O'Neill, Commissioned by the UK Prime Minister (2016): 
Tackling Drug-resistant Infections Globally: Report & Recommendations

reports & publications
Aquaculture at the crossroads of global warming and AMR

Nature Communications: Countries most vulnerable to climate change will probably face the highest AMR risks, impacting human health and highlighting the need for urgent action.
How COVID-19 is accelerating the threat of antimicrobial resistance

The BMJ: The global threat of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and other superbugs is worsening as many patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 receive antibiotics.
Co-infections: potentially lethal and unexplored in COVID-19

The Lancet: Rapid characterization of co-infections is essential in the management and treatment of COVID-19 cases, could help to save lives, and will improve antimicrobial stewardship.
Innovation in AMR – the CARB-X perspective

ACS Infectious Diseases: In order to continue to benefit from the advancement of modern medicine, new treatment, prevention, and diagnostic products are needed to treat or prevent infections. 
who we are

The Canadian Anti-infective Innovation Network (CAIN) is a consortium of over 80 leaders, researchers, clinicians, and policymakers from Canadian universities, companies, governments, and not-for-profit organizations committed to addressing the global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). CAIN members span human and animal health sectors, reflecting the fact that AMR is a One Health issue.

Stay up to date regarding the latest news in AMR research and policy.

The Canadian Anti-infective Innovation Network (CAIN) AMR eNews is proudly sponsored by the David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery (DBCAD)For all communications, including any questions, comments, or suggestions that you may have regarding the AMR newsletter, please contact DBCAD Communications Coordinator Christy Groves at
The Canadian Anti-infective
Innovation Network (CAIN)

University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

The David Braley Centre for
Antibiotic Discovery
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario

The Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario

McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4)
McGill University

Montreal, Quebec

McMaster University, 1280 Main St W, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L8, Canada
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