The Australian Government Department of Health has this week published a summary of funding and strategy measures announced to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the recent 2020-21 Federal Budget. This includes $22.5m to address the priorities identified in Australia’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy – 2020 & Beyond.
Key areas, as quoted in this excerpt, include:
- Surveillance of Antimicrobial Use and Resistance
- Continuation and enhancement of the Antimicrobial Use and Resistance (AURA) Surveillance System that provides a comprehensive and integrated picture of trends of antimicrobial use and resistance in human health.
- Assessment of Australia’s current capabilities and resource needs to develop a One Health Surveillance System. This scoping and planning phase will entail consultation with stakeholders on how to achieve the implementation of a One Health Surveillance System that integrates resistance and usage data from human health, animal health, agriculture, food and environment sectors in Australia.
- The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will conduct scoping studies to collect baseline data on antimicrobial resistance and usage in the animal health sector.
- A pilot study will be conducted to collect baseline data on the presence of antimicrobials and resistant organisms in food. FSANZ will be responsible for this project which will commence in mid-2021.
- Support for the development of a Multi-Drug Resistant Organism (MRO) outbreak response capability with state and territory health authorities. This will enable a timely response to outbreaks of priority MROs detected by surveillance; building on existing capacity.
- Develop a National AMR One Health Research and Development Agenda (AMR R&D Agenda). The intention is to work with stakeholders to identify gaps and priority areas for research on the prevention, detection and containment of AMR across the differing areas of research; i.e. operational and implementation, therapeutics, preventives and diagnostics. The agenda will also consider opportunities for collaboration, both nationally and internationally, and to reduce potential duplication of effort.
- Undertake a scoping study on pricing and reimbursement to identify new and innovative funding models to support incentivising new products that prevent, detect and contain drug-resistant infections in Australia. The study will be informed by the outcomes and lessons learned of similar studies conducted internationally.
- Develop a national monitoring and evaluation framework to measure Australia’s progress towards achieving the objectives of the 2020 AMR Strategy. This work is planned to commence in mid-2021.
- Maintain Australia’s AMR governance arrangements such as the Australian Government’s AMR advisory group; the Australian Government One Health AMR website (amr.gov.au), and meeting national and international reporting obligations.
Botanix Pharmaceuticals’ President and Executive Chairman, Vince Ippolito, commented: “Botanix Pharmaceuticals has this week announced that we have secured a clear development path from the FDA for our BTX 1801 synthetic cannabidiol antimicrobial product, following the successful completion of a Pre-Investigational New Drug (Pre-IND) meeting. Our BTX 1801 Phase 2a study in Perth is fully enrolled and remains on track for completion before the end of this calendar year.
“We welcome support from the Australian Federal Government as we develop our BTX 1801 antimicrobial pipeline and are committed to active and collaborative participation in the whole-of-industry response needed to address this pressing global health emergency.”
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