A Future Investment

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology, April 2022, Volume 46, Issue 4

The AMR Action Fund has made its first investments, marking an important step forward for the partnership to achieve its goal of bringing new treatments to the market for priority pathogens.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has long been on the radar of global organizations as a serious threat to human health. However, there are few potential antimicrobials in the clinical development pipeline, and a collaborative effort to tackle the issue is becoming ever more imperative.

The past

Going back more than two decades, in 2001, the World Health Organization (WHO) laid out a framework of interventions, with the aim of slowing the emergence and reducing the spread of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms (1). Over a decade later, in 2014, WHO published its first global report on data surveillance for AMR, including any available data from national and international surveillance networks (2). Shortly thereafter, in 2015 during the World Health Assembly, countries from all over the world committed to the framework set out in the Global Action Plan on AMR (3).

Present and future advances

Moving forward five years to 2020, more than 20 leading biopharmaceutical companies came together with WHO, the European Investment Bank, and the Wellcome Trust to form the AMR Action Fund—a partnership aimed at bringing two to four new antibiotics to patients by the year 2030 (4). Most recently, in April 2022, the AMR Action Fund announced its investment in two companies.


“Adaptive Phage Therapeutics and Venatorx Pharmaceuticals are poised to change the treatment landscape for drug-resistant infections and deliver significant benefit to patients,” said AMR Action Fund CEO, Henry Skinner, in a press release (4). “We plan to commit over $100 million in capital this year in companies developing clinically differentiated antimicrobials with the potential to treat the most urgent unmet clinical needs.”

This action could not come soon enough, as recent analysis demonstrated the urgency of the AMR matter. According to a paper, published in The Lancet at the beginning of 2022, reported as being the most comprehensive analysis of the burden of AMR to date, bacterial AMR is a health problem on a magnitude similar to that of HIV and malaria, with the potential to be even worse (5).

“Our investments are substantial, but we alone are not enough to take on the global challenge of AMR,” added Skinner (4). “It is now imperative that policymakers around the world enact market reforms to support investment in these urgently needed medications.”


1. WHO, WHO Global Strategy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance, Guidance Document, who.int (Geneva, Switzerland, 2001).
2. WHO, Antimicrobial Resistance Global Report on Surveillance, Report, who.int (Geneva, Switzerland, 2014).
3. WHO, Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, Action Plan, who.int, 26 May 2015.
4. AMR Action Fund, “AMR Action Fund Announces First Investments in Adaptive Phage Therapeutics and Venatorx Pharmaceuticals,” Press Release, 4 April 2022.
5. Antimicrobial Resistance Collaborators, The Lancet, 399 (10325) 629–655 (2022).

About the author

Felicity Thomas is the European editor for Pharmaceutical Technology Group.

Article details

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe
Vol. 34, No. 4
April 2022
Page: 6


When referring to this article, please cite it as F. Thomas, “A Future Investment,” Pharmaceutical Technology Europe 34 (4) 2022.