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Collaboration for innovation

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13 June 2011

Very few novel antibiotics are coming onto the market, even though the need is ever increasing because of antibiotic resistance. In the European Union alone, multi drug-resistant bacteria cause at least 25,000 deaths annually while extra costs for healthcare and productivity losses add up to at least €1,5 billion per year. To discuss the challenges in discovery and development of new antibiotics, ReAct organized the high-level meeting “Collaboration for Innovation – The Urgent Need for New Antibiotics” in Brussels on May 23rd.


Among invited key stakeholders were representatives from the European Commission, The European Medicines Agency, the World Health Organization, academia, the pharmaceutical industry as well as several civil society organizations.

Key issues discussed at the meeting were put in the perspective of the upcoming action plan from the EU commission and included the nature of the scientific challenges, possibilities for open source solutions, and the need for a new business logic for antibiotic discovery and development where the return of investment is decoupled from sales to the extent possible.

Please find below the meeting agenda as well as presentations from speakers using PowerPoint. A report from the meeting will be forthcoming.

Final Agenda (PDF).

The antibiotic resistance crisis. Otto Cars, ReAct (PDF, 9MB).

How Difficult Is It to Discover New Antibacterials?
Lynn Silver, LL Silver Consulting (PPT).

The Role of Diagnostics in the Management of Antibiotic Resistance. Anna Zorzet, ReAct (PDF, 1MB).

The Role of Diagnostics in the Management of Antibiotic Resistance. Isabelle Caniaux, bioMerieux (PDF).

Exploring responses to the need for new antibiotics: How do different incentives compare?
Chantal Morel, London School of Economics  (PDF).

Harnessing Open Innovation to Tackle the Dearth of Novel Antibiotics.
Bernard Munos, InnoThinkCenter For the Study of Biomedical Innovation (PDF).

Urgent need for new antibiotics.
General discussion. Otto Cars (PDF).
The meeting was referred to in the article “Antibiotics profits drive attacked” by Andrew Jack in the Financial Times (free registration to read) on May 30th.

Swedish public radio did an interview with one of the invited speakers, Lynn Silver (PhD), regarding the scientific difficulties in discovering new antibiotics, “Biologin bortglömd i jakten på bättre antibiotika” SR Nyheter/Ekot (mostly in Swedish, but the taped interview is in English, with a Swedish translation).