The origins of GARDP
GARDP is built on the shared missions of WHO and DNDi. This new initiative draws its strength from both: WHO’s mandate to drive the global response to antimicrobial resistance and set health priorities, and DNDi’s expertise in harnessing partnerships to build a pipeline for neglected diseases and deliver not-for-profit, needs-driven R&D.
GARDP benefits from a unique parentage: WHO provides support in setting priorities and target product profiles, leads the Global Development and Stewardship Framework for AMR, garners Member State support, and ensures effective liaison with relevant WHO departments. GARDP operates within DNDi. It provides the governance, scientific environment and input, and infrastructure, as well as support for resource mobilization, communication, finance and human resources necessary to build and launch solid R&D programmes.
GARDP is led by its Director who also serves as a member of DNDi’s executive team. DNDi’s Board of Directors oversees GARDP’s activities, with expert advice from the GARDP Scientific Advisory Committee of renowned experts in the field of antimicrobial resistance and drug development.
Setting up GARDP: a timeline
Starting in 2014, WHO and DNDi jointly developed the concept of setting up a new product development partnership through various consultations with Member States and other stakeholders. The idea was to set up a new initiative that would eventually become a dedicated entity, similar to DNDi’s own incubation by the medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in 2003. DNDi’s consultations with its founding partners and key global public health actors during the revision of its business plan identified drug-resistant infections as an important area of unaddressed patient needs, paving the way for the incubation of GARDP.
In 2015, WHO Member States adopted the GAP-AMR from which the need to ‘create new public-private partnerships for R&D of new antimicrobial agents and diagnostics’ was identified. A technical consultation was held at WHO with Member States and other key stakeholders to discuss the proposed concept of such a product development partnership. With the support emanating from this meeting, DNDi’s Board of Directors approved the incubation of GARDP.
Initiated and incubated through close collaboration between WHO and DNDi, GARDP was launched in May 2016. Since then, GARDP received seed funding and pledges from the governments of Germany, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as well as from MSF.
By early 2017, GARDP had secured EUR 6.5 million in seed funding, built a team of 10, facilitated 11 expert meetings in 6 countries on specific disease areas, regional issues, project reviews, and sustainable access. A Scientific Advisory Committee of AMR and drug development experts had been set up. With their expert review and DNDi’s Board of Directors’ validation, GARDP began launching three programmes with one more in development. In July 2017, GARDP signed its first partnering deal with Entasis Therapeutics to develop a new treatment for drug-resistant gonorrhoea. Germany hosted a pledging event for GARDP in September, where a number of countries and foundations pledged more than EUR 56 million to GARDP.