Findings from the Innovate UK Global Expert Mission on Antimicrobial Resistance

Posted on: 12/12/2022

Innovate UK hosted a webinar on 12 December to share findings and outcomes from the recent AMR Global Expert Mission to the US: the recording is now available.

Recording now available

Watch the recording of the dissemination event below.

Overview

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest threats to global health and food security today. The improvident use of antibiotics in clinical settings and animal husbandry has been the key driver for the rise of AMR and is a major concern for both developed and developing countries. AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites build up resistance over time resulting in medicine that was once used to treat the infection to become ineffective. It is estimated that deaths due to infections that are resistant to antimicrobials will reach 10 million annually by 2050. A systematic study on the global burden of AMR found 4.95 million deaths associated with AMR in 2019 with lower respiratory infections accounting for more than 1.5 million deaths due to bacterial resistance.

The need for international cooperation

AMR is a global threat and due to the complexity of the problem poses a significant challenge to both global healthcare and the economy. In the US, the CDC estimates a surplus of $20 billion in healthcare costs to combat AMR. A recent study in the UK found to cost the NHS £1 million for each outbreak. With a global healthcare burden reaching $1 trillion by 2050, there is an urgent need for international cooperation. The UK and US have both published national action plan to combat AMR emphasising the importance of international collaboration, developing AMR stewardship programmes and investment in basic and applied research to develop new diagnostics and therapies.

The Global Expert Mission

As innovation is increasingly a global endeavour and the ambition of UK businesses to become truly international enterprises is at its highest, Innovate UK established its Global Expert Missions (GEM) Programme in 2017. Delivered by Innovate UK KTN in partnership with the UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN) and Department of International Trade (DIT), the GEM help further Innovate UK’s global strategy by providing the evidence base for where it should invest and by providing the opportunities for UK businesses to build partnerships and collaborations with key economies.

A team of UK delegates representing industry, academia and government visited the US in September 2022. The purpose of the visit was to understand the country’s research and innovation landscape and to identify synergies for future collaboration. The visit focussed on three thematic areas i) Diagnostics ii) Therapeutics and Vaccines and iii) Environmental surveillance.

Findings

Our engagement with US stakeholders provided optimism for future collaboration and we identified several priority areas to support UK businesses. The US has many organisations that are working towards mitigating AMR. The delegation had the opportunity to meet with senior stakeholders from CARB-X, BARDA, ARAC and NIAMRRE to name a few, that are tackling the AMR crisis through investment in early and late-stage technology development, policy and education. The US is particularly strong in areas such as therapeutic and diagnostics development and are looking to collaborate internationally to develop these programmes. There are clear opportunities for future CR&D calls between the UK and US in AMR research. Our full report provides a detailed overview of the AMR landscape in the US in addition to providing insights on the recommendation and next steps for international collaboration.

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