On July 9, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's president and CEO, Dr. Michael P. Boyle, participated in the launch of the AMR Action Fund, a collective venture that expects to invest over $1 billion into the development of novel antibiotics to address the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, or AMR. Speaking on a panel discussion, Dr. Boyle shared the challenges people with CF face with chronic infection and stressed the need for novel antibiotics as superbugs and antibiotic resistance continue to be a global health concern.
“This is a complex problem that puts all of us at risk, and people with CF are on the front line. While no single proposal will solve all the issues, today's announcement is an important step. Collectively, we must continue to create targeted economic incentives to invest in discovery and development of these desperately needed drugs,” Dr. Boyle said.
Dr. Boyle discussed the impact of necessary, routine antibiotic use and why new antibiotic development is more critical than ever during the panel entitled, “The AMR Ecosystem Challenges, Opportunities and Policies Necessary for Change.” He also highlighted the CF Foundation's Infection Research Initiative, a $100 million commitment through 2023 to advance infection research. Through this work, the CF Foundation is currently funding 12 new industry programs to develop treatments for CF-related infections.
Research alone will not solve the challenges of antibiotic development and ensure new infection treatments make it into the hands of people with CF, Dr. Boyle said. Policy solutions are also needed, he said. Currently, Congress is considering proposals to support the antibiotic pipeline, including the Developing an Innovative Strategy for Antimicrobial Resistance Microorganisms (DISARM) Act. This legislation would carve out antibiotics from Medicare inpatient reimbursement and provide a separate, additional payment for novel antibiotics. The Foundation supports this legislation, and if passed, the measure would provide immediate relief to antibiotic companies that are struggling to stay in business.
Moderated by Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the panel featured panelists from The Pew Charitable Trusts' Antibiotic Resistance Project; Infectious Disease Society of America; CARB-X; and X-Biotix.
In March, the CF Foundation awarded up to $5 million for the first-ever controlled clinical study of phage therapy. Additionally, the Foundation announced in May an award of up to $5.6 million to develop a novel, inhaled antibiotic to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections in people with CF.
Interested in learning more? Watch the launch event here.