Antibiotic resistance: what viable business model? – news

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The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgency of developing treatments and vaccines against new infections. The possibility of restarting the fight against antibiotic resistance. But for that, the speakers from the second round table of the symposium of Drugs
whether infectious diseases came to testify to the need to build a viable business model for manufacturers.

“If France has been proactive in the fight against antibiotic resistance with the establishment of a system for monitoring the consumption of antibiotics and associated resistance, the consequences should have been drawn earlier,” says Dr. Jean Carlet, Honorary President of the Alliance for Development. of multi-resistant bacteria and chair of the 2015 Ministerial Task Force on Antibiotic Protection at the Opening of the Second Round Table in the Colloquium Drugs dedicated to infectious diseases. But the Covid-19 crisis has made citizens aware of microbial transmission, and antibiotic resistance is now a topic we can talk about, ”he says with satisfaction. Yet the current business model, which correlates revenue to sales volumes, is not an incentive for industrial investment. “The problem with antibiotic resistance is to fund the development of new antibiotics, which we will do our utmost to ensure that they are little used,” explains Pierre Dubois, professor of economics at the Toulouse School of Economics, who has observed a dehydration for decades. . up the innovation pipeline in this sector.

Low prices, low quantities

The equation is not profitable for the manufacturers. But there is an urgent need to act, as stressed Philippe Lamoureux, CEO of Leem and Vice President of IFPMA: “By 2050, antibiotic resistance could claim up to 10 million victims a year and cost up to $ 100,000 billion for Mondial’s economy. He regrets that only 43 antibiotics are currently under development worldwide. “Among the manufacturers who have dared to develop antibiotics over the past ten years, a third of them no longer exist, have been bought out or have had to change their business model,” he points out. 23 pharmaceutical companies, in collaboration with the European Investment Bank (EIB), WHO and the Wellcome Trust, have invested in the AMR-Action Fund supported by IFPMA. “This is a $ 1 billion fund that aims to develop two to four new antibiotics in 2030 to respond to an unfulfilled public health problem “, reports the industrialist. Following a tender and review of applications by a jury, two initial projects were selected: Ad aptive Phage Therapeutics (APT), which develops a library of phages, and Venatorx Pharmaceuticals, which develops inhibitors of beta-lactams / beta-lactams. lactamases targeting drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria.

Customize business models

An Van Gerven, director of the hospital department at Pfizer France, agrees with the need for innovation in the field. Pfizer has three antibiotics in its pipeline that it wants to develop within five years. “The group also enters into specific alliances,” she says. The handles are those for the prevention of antibiotic resistance through the implementation of monitoring and diagnostic tools, the promotion of good use and the use of new economic models. “One of the solutions is to remove the link between income and the amount of products sold,” asks Pierre Dubois. This is called the subscription model, independent of consumption. “It helps attract industrial investment, but it’s expensive to implement,” he says. Another solution is the transfer of the exclusive rights to the patent for a newly approved antimicrobial agent to another product already marketed, from the portfolio of the manufacturer having an MA or a third party, in any therapeutic field. Experiments that will soon prove their worth.

Juliette Badina

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