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Organizations Join Forces to Create Global Alliance Against Antibiotic Resistance

UTRECHT, Netherlands and DURHAM, N.C., April 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S.-based Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG), part of the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht, the managing entity of the COMBACTE (Combatting Bacterial Resistance in Europe) consortium, will work together to solidify a comprehensive global community to combat the threat of antibiotic resistance around the world.

This collaboration is expected to take several forms, including joint design and implementation of clinical research, working meetings at scientific conferences like the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), and IDWeek, cross-entity working groups with diverse functional group participation, clinical trial innovations, data and protocol exchanges, and, contractual, regulatory, and systems harmonization.

"We at the ARLG have long admired the work being done by COMBACTE to increase the efficacy of antimicrobial drug development," said Vance Fowler, MD, an investigator at the DCRI and co-principal investigator of the ARLG. "Combining our efforts will allow us to maximize the work we both do to stop the advancement of antibacterial resistance."

Both organizations have been working toward the same mission since each launched in 2013, and now, the two groups will share their work to increase synergy and avoid duplicative efforts in clinical research.

"We have already made efforts to expand our reach across Europe, where an increasing number of people suffer from infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria," said Marc Bonten, MD, coordinator of COMBACTE and a professor at UMC Utrecht. "But by collaborating and sharing our progress with the ARLG, we can make a truly global impact beyond this population — an important consideration in a globally connected era in which epidemics travel across oceans quickly."

As part of the agreement, the ARLG will have the opportunity to lead and coordinate U.S.-based studies for all clinical research initiated by COMBACTE, while COMBACTE will have the opportunity to lead and coordinate ARLG-initiated projects in Europe.

Earlier this year the European Clinical Research Alliance on Infectious Diseases (ECRAID) was formed, merging COMBACTE's more than 850 clinical trial sites and 650 laboratories with the network of primary care sites coordinated by The Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)Emerging Epidemics (PREPARE) to form a European-wide sustainable clinical research organization for infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance. The ARLG, with established collaborations in 19 countries, will help to expand these efforts outside of Europe. The alliance will enable innovative, flexible, and adaptive collaboration between the DCRI and UMC Utrecht.

"This is an exciting year for PREPARE to expand its work in reducing a serious public health threat," said Herman Goossens, MD, coordinator of PREPARE and professor at University of Antwerp and UMC Utrecht. "First, we joined forces with COMBACTE by forming ECRAID, and now, we welcome a partnership with the ARLG, which will help all three organizations leverage a wider set of resources and a deeper pool of expertise."

The ARLG is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, under Award Number UM1AI104681. COMBACTE-NET, COMBACTE-CARE, and COMBACTE-MAGNET receive support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking under grant agreement n° 115523 | 115620 | 115737 resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) and EFPIA companies in kind contribution. COMBACTE-CDI receives support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement n° 777362 resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and EFPIA. PREPARE is funded by the European Union's FP7 Programme n° 602525. ECRAID is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme n° 825715.

About the Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG)

The Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG) consists of more than 50 leading experts working together to combat the antibacterial resistance crisis and improve patient care. It accomplishes this goal through a scientific agenda that prioritizes areas of unmet needs, innovates clinical trial design, and informs practice-changing guidelines. Created in 2013, the ARLG receives its funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. It is facilitated by the Duke Clinical Research Institute and works under the thought leadership of an executive committee and two principal investigators: Vance Fowler, MD, of Duke University, and Henry "Chip" Chambers, MD, of University of California, San Francisco.

About COMBACTE

In November 2011, the European Commission, as part of its action plan to combat the increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance, called for "unprecedented collaborative research and development effort to bring new antibiotics to patients," including the launch of the sixth, the eight and the eleventh IMI Calls for Proposals in May 2012, December 2012 and December 2013 respectively, as part of the program entitled "New Drugs 4 Bad Bugs (ND4BB)." Within the ND4BB program are the COMBACTE-NET, COMBACTE-MAGNET, COMBACTE-CARE, and COMBACTE-CDI consortia, which were formed in January 2013 January, March 2015, and November 2017, respectively. The COMBACTE program management office is based in the University Medical Center Utrecht, one of the largest public health institutions in the Netherlands.

Media contact

Eric Trinthamer, UMC Utrecht
Phone: +31 6 21 55 66 58
Email: h.j.e.trinthamer@umcutrecht.nl

Mark Slagle, ARLG
Phone: +1 919-668-8031
Email: mark.slagle@duke.edu