The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) was established in May 2016 as a joint initiative by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). As an important element of the WHO Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, this not-for-profit research and development (R&D) initiative addresses global public health needs by developing and delivering new or improved antibiotic treatments while endeavouring to ensure sustainable access.

 

Drug resistant infections – a global problem

“Antimicrobial resistance threatens the very core of modern medicine and the sustainability of an effective, global public health response to the enduring threat from infectious diseases. Without harmonized and immediate action on a global scale, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era in which common infections could once again kill.”

Dr Margaret Chan, former Director-General, World Health Organization

Imagine a world without antibiotics – without the necessary curative serum to treat infections or the protective armour of medication to abate the risks of surgical procedures. The overuse and misuse of antimicrobial drugs, together with poor infection prevention and control, and meagre investments in new drug development, has caused the number of resistant organisms to skyrocket.

Drug resistant infections are outpacing drug discovery at an alarming rate, as resistance mechanisms emerge and spread, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases and causing prolonged illness, disability, and death. Compounding these problems, inadequate access to appropriate treatments today kills more patients than resistance itself.

 

GARDP – a global R&D response

“There is a dire need for cooperative solutions that assist countries in strengthening systems to address the risks of antimicrobial resistance. No country can safeguard itself from resistant bacteria unless the world collectively heeds the call.”

Ms Malebona Precious Matsoso, Director General, Department of Health, South Africa

The grim scenario of resistance isn’t without hope, as a collective call to action has been echoed around the world by government agencies, international groups, the pharmaceutical industry, and other key stakeholders. The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) is one response to this call, as it aims to develop and deliver new treatments for bacterial infections where drug resistance is present or emerging, or for which inadequate treatment exists.

Jointly launched by DNDi and the World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2016 and currently operating within DNDi, GARDP’s vision is a world where everyone in need of antibiotics receives effective, appropriate, and affordable treatment, irrespective of where they live. The initial seven-year plan (until 2023) comprises four programmes, including the Antimicrobial Memory Recovery Programme, which feeds into programmes for neonatal sepsis, sexually transmitted infections, paediatric indications, seeking out innovative ways to fight drug resistant infections.