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Australian Government makes strong commitment to fund the fight against AMR

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.  
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.”

– ENDS –

The PASTEUR Act

Two US lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill to create a new payment model to encourage drug developers to develop new classes of antibiotics.

It’s called the PASTEUR Act, which will facilitate upfront payments to companies in exchange for unlimited access to their antibiotics. In turn, drug makers can recover their costs and turn a profit, before selling large volumes of product. 

Relevant extracts include:

  • An antimicrobial drug developer can apply to receive a ‘critical need antimicrobial’ designation
  • Contracts will range from $750 million to $3 billion and will be paid out over a period of up to 10 years or through the length of patent exclusivity

Botanix Pharmaceuticals wholeheartedly welcomes this news. As we enter a critical period of R&D for our BTX 1801 antimicrobial resistance (AMR) platform, this is a significant endorsement of the immediate need for novel antibiotics and further evidence of the world’s most powerful pharmaceutical influencers prioritising expedited and significant expenditure in this space.

Read a summary of the bill here.

Experts Say Humans Are Living in an ‘Age of Pandemics’—and COVID Won’t Be the Last

Experts have warned that the COVID-19 pandemic might just be one in a series of increasingly frequent viral outbreaks, as the human species enters what they describe as “a pandemic era”.

Anthony Fauci, leading US immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and David Morens, a medical epidemiologist at NIAID, predict that widespread outbreaks of diseases and epidemics will only accelerate over the coming years as populations grow, societies expand and deforestation increases.

Read the full article on Vice here.

Botanix makes progress on cannabinoid antimicrobial gel

‘After colonising the skin explants with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the “Human Skin Study” found that BTX 1801 successfully eliminated the so-called superbug within 24 hours.’

Read the full article on Stockhead here

Botanix’s BTX 1801 proven to kill superbugs

Cannabinoid skincare company Botanix (BOT) has proven its BTX 1801 compound’s ability to treat and prevent surgical site infections (SSIs).

‘The company has released encouraging results from a study testing the formulation’s ability to eliminate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — known as MRSA or Golden Staph — from infected human skin explants.

Read the full article on The Market Herald here.