The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) has been granted additional funding by the Government of Japan to support the fight against drug-resistant infections, with the funding contributing to the research and development of new treatments for bacterial infections posing the greatest threat to global health.
Japan announced funding of approximately 200 million yen (US $1.8 million) which covers the period April 2021 to March 2022. The funding is part of a 1 billion yen (US $9 million) pledge to GARDP for the period 2020 to 2025. Japan has previously contributed approximately 200 million yen as part of this pledge.
The investment by Japan will be used to accelerate research and development into treatments for infections caused by the drug-resistant ‘priority pathogens’ identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as critically in need of new antibiotic development. This includes funding for GARDP efforts to develop treatments for hospital acquired infections, sexually transmitted infections and infections in newborns. The funding will also support work to ensure these treatments are used responsibly and made accessible to every person who needs them.
Globally, drug-resistant infections are responsible for 700,000 deaths every year, with this number projected to increase exponentially without urgent action. Analysis also suggests drug-resistant infections could cost the global economy US $100 trillion by 2050 if left unchecked. While drug-resistant bacteria can infect anyone, it is the most vulnerable, including children, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems and those living in countries with weak health systems, who are hit first and hardest.
“GARDP plays a critical role in addressing the ever-growing threat of antimicrobial drug resistance, providing leadership in antibiotic research and development that brings together public and private resources to contribute to global health. The Government of Japan is pleased to continue its ongoing support of GARDP in fulfilling this important mission,” said Dr Fukushima Yasumasa, Chief Medical and Global Health Officer, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the Government of Japan, through the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, for its ongoing support and commitment to addressing the silent pandemic of drug-resistant infections,” said Dr Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director of GARDP. “This funding signals Japan’s leadership in global health, and recognition that achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals will require urgent action to deliver effective antibiotics, available for every person who needs them.”
The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) is a Swiss not-for-profit organization developing new treatments for drug-resistant infections that pose the greatest threat to health. GARDP was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in 2016 to ensure that everyone who needs antibiotics receives effective and affordable treatment. We aim to develop five new treatments by 2025 to fight drug-resistant infections. GARDP is funded by the governments of Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, as well as Médecins Sans Frontières and private foundations. GARDP is registered under the legal name GARDP Foundation.