The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasized the urgency of developing treatments and vaccines against emerging infections. The opportunity to revive the fight against antibiotic resistance. But before that, the speakers of the second roundtable of the symposium of Medicines
on infectious diseases testified to the need to build a viable business model for manufacturers.
“If France has been proactive in the fight against antibiotic resistance by establishing a system to monitor antibiotic consumption and associated resistance, the consequences should have been drawn sooner,” said Dr Jean Carlet, Honorary President of the Alliance against the development of multidrug-resistant bacteria, and chair of the 2015 Ministerial Task Force on Antibiotic Protection at the opening of the second roundtable conference of the Colloquium of Medicines 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 revenues with sales volumes, is not an incentive for industrial investment. “The problem of antibiotic resistance is to fund the development of new antibiotics. We will do everything we can to ensure that they are underutilized,” explains Pierre Dubois, a professor of economics at the Toulouse School of Economics, who has spent decades notice a dehydration. of the innovation pipeline in this sector.
Low prices, small quantities
The comparison is not profitable for manufacturers. But urgent action is needed, as underlined Philippe Lamoureux, Managing Director of Leem and Vice-President of IFPMA: “By 2050, antibiotic resistance could claim up to 10 million victims per year and cost up to $100,000 billion for the Mondial economy. He regrets that there are currently only 43 antibiotics under development worldwide. “Of the manufacturers that have ventured to develop antibiotics in the last decade, a third of them no longer exist, have been bought out or have had to change their business model,” he notes. Awareness is happening and things are changing. Companies, in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB), WHO and the Wellcome Trust, have invested in the IFPMA-backed AMR-Action Fund. “This is a $1 billion fund that aims to create two to four new developing antibiotics to address an unmet public health problem,” the industrialist reports. . After a tender and assessment of In the applications submitted by a jury, two first projects were selected: Adaptive Phage Therapeutics (APT), which is developing a library of phages, and Venatorx Pharmaceuticals, which is developing beta-lactam/ beta-lactamase inhibitors targeting drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria.
Adjust business models
An Van Gerven, director of the Hospital Division of Pfizer France, agrees with the need for innovation in the field. Pfizer has three antibiotics in the pipeline, which it aims to complete within five years. “The group is also forging specific alliances,” she says. The levers are those of preventing antibiotic resistance through the implementation of monitoring and diagnostic tools, promoting good use and using new economic models. “One of the solutions is to remove the link between income and the quantities of products sold,” asks Pierre Dubois. This is called the subscription model, independent of consumption. “It helps attract industrial investment, but it is expensive to implement,” he tempers. Another solution is the transfer of the exclusive rights of the patent of a newly approved antimicrobial agent to another product already on the market, from the portfolio of the manufacturer holding the MA or that of a third party, on any therapeutic area. Experiments that must quickly prove their worth.