The importance of antibiotics is indisputable. Cancer treatments, surgical operations, organ transplants - none of these would be possible without effective antibiotics, and the same applies to the care of premature babies. However, it has become increasingly clear that antibiotic resistance is a growing problem worldwide - and one of the biggest threats to human health. Nonetheless, there are very few new active ingredients coming onto the market. This is largely because countless antibiotic development programs have been shut down over the past 30 years due to the complex scientific work involved, inadequate returns on investment and adverse business decisions. Earlier this year, the G20 countries under the presidency of Germany made a commitment to work together to support the fight against antibiotic resistance with targeted measures and to reinvigorate research and development work on new antibiotics, alternative treatment methods and vaccines. One important step in implementing the Berlin Declaration of the G20 Health Ministers is securing financial support for GARDP.
Launched in May 2016 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), with support from the German Federal Government and other countries, the GARDP is a not-for-profit research and development initiative. "Over the years ahead, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research will provide the 'Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership' (GARDP) with substantial funds. Indeed, we are certain that significant progress on important issues of health research can only be achieved through collaboration between countries," explains Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. "International product development partnerships such as the GARDP are a vital tool for Germany when it comes to developing urgently needed new antibiotics and diagnostics quickly and successfully."