New European Initiative to Tackle Antibiotic Resistance

A major new European initiative, DRIVE-AB (Driving Reinvestment in R&D and Responsible Antibiotic Use), has been launched to address the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.

A major new European initiative, DRIVE‐AB (Driving Reinvestment in R&D and Responsible Antibiotic Use), has been launched to address the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. This EUR9.4 million public‐private consortium, funded by the EU Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), seeks to promote responsible use of the remaining antibiotics reserve, as well as to develop, test and recommend new economic models for pharmaceutical investment in developing new antibiotics.

Approximately 25,000 deaths in the EU are due to infections from drug-resistant strains with an estimated annual societal costs of EUR1.5 billion. The World Health Organization has identified antimicrobial resistance as one of the three greatest threats to public health. However, only two new classes of antibiotics have been commercialized during the past three decades because of the high-risk, low-return R&D investment involved.

DRIVE‐AB consists of partners across 11 European countries from academic institutions, research organisations, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries. Members of the consortium will combine their experience, expertise, and capabilities to develop new economic models for antibiotic R&D and to reinvigorate investments in this field. They will also look into ways of maximizing existing and new antibiotics by defining standards of responsible use.

Project partners include the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Chatham House, Center for Anti‐Infective Agents, Heidelberg University, London School of Economics and Political Science, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Radboud University Medical Center, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, University of Antwerp, University of Geneva, University of Lorraine, University of Rijeka Medical Faculty, University of Strathclyde, University of Tübingen, Uppsala University, Wageningen University and EFPIA members Astellas Pharma Europe LTD, AstraZeneca AB, Cubist Pharmaceuticals GmbH, GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development, F. Hoffmann‐La Roche Ltd, Pfizer, and Sanofi‐Aventis Research & Development.

More information about the DRIVE‐AB project can be found at www.drive‐ab.eu.