September 7, 2017

Threats and Necessary Actions

G7 Academies’ Statement 2015

Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistence

Emerging infectious diseases and an microbial resistance seriously endanger individual and global health. A comprehensive strategy is needed to tackle health threats from infectious diseases – one that requires a much more visible political and public profile and a cross-sectoral approach, involving health, agriculture, development, economy and other policy areas. The G7 Academies of Sciences call for: (1) accelera ng research and produc on of new an microbial agents, vaccines and diagnostics, (2) priori sing the research agenda to fill knowledge gaps for key diseases, (3) installing global surveillance programmes, (4) raising awareness in society, and (5) a coordinated rapid response in the face of major epidemics. Only then can the necessary resources be generated to ensure op mal preven on, diagnosis, and treatment for all.

(…) In our increasingly interconnected world, pathogens spread quickly and across borders, posing a growing threat to global health and prosperity.

The current situation is serious and untenable. There is a strong need for new classes of antimicrobials, vaccines, and diagnostics for infectious diseases. However, industry alone will not solve this problem because of a perceived low return of investment. Therefore, there is an urgent need to stimulate research and development for novel approaches to disease prevention and treatment.

The rise of resistance to antimicrobial agents and the resurgence of significant communicable diseases such as tuberculosis are putting at risk the achievements of modern medicine, the health of societies, and the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals. The underlying scientific basis of this resurgence is often well understood, and there has been considerable international work on antimicrobial resistance in the past year. But international coordination is urgently needed to control outbreaks that stretch beyond geographic borders. (…)

The G7 Academies have identified critical actions needed to addressthe immediate threats of infectious diseases. They emphasisethe importance of international collaboration that integratesboth the scientific community and industry.

The following actions are necessary:

Accelerate the discovery, registration and production of new antimicrobial agents, vaccines and diagnostics

  • Identify and implement new sources of support, including public-private partnerships to enhance the likelihood that interventions will reach the proof-of-principle stage.
  • Develop novel antimicrobials and vaccines for key diseases and evaluate ways to keep them in reserves until they are needed. (…)
  • Develop attractive business models and other incentives toincrease efforts in academia and revive commercial interest.
  • Accelerate the development of diagnostics, vaccines andtherapeutics to better meet the threat from highly dangerouspathogens.

Fill knowledge gaps and prioritise the researchagenda

  • Identify and fill the gaps in basic research and ensure thatresults from applied research are transformed into effectiveinterventions (and thus survive the “valley of death”). (…)
  • Develop innovative strategies for prevention and rapid diagnosisof infection.


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