EU Stakeholder – Press Releases (10/07/2020)
The BEAM Alliance is an association representing over 60 European small and medium-sized biotech companies innovating in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) research. We welcome the European Commission’s ambition to support innovation in its upcoming Pharmaceutical Strategy. In our latest paper, we share some reflections from our industry on the challenges highlighted by the Commission in the Strategy’s roadmap.
With the COVID-19 crisis, the world re-discovered the tremendous impact communicable diseases can have on our daily lives and habits. Our collective lack of preparedness to this pandemic was exposed and the high costs of a reactive strategy as opposed to a preventive one were clearly demonstrated.
Since 2016, the BEAM Alliance has been advocating for an enhanced preparedness of public health systems against another infectious threat: AMR.
The status of AMR as a relevant unmet medical need has been widely acknowledged at the political level since 2016. Countermeasures tackling the issue are still however in their infancy, with the EU largely lagging behind other regions. Although the European Commission adopted the new “EU One Health Action Plan against AMR” in June 2017, a report published in November 2019 by the European Court of Auditors evidenced the need to do more.
To tackle the threat of AMR, reinvigorating innovation is crucial. This can be done by allowing similar market conditions to those granted to other therapeutic areas, while ensuring the sustainability of health systems.
For many years now, SMEs have been the main actors working in the design of new products to curb AMR. In the EU, however, they are struggling to advance their product development programmes. This is largely due to these companies’ heavy reliance on investors in a field where a market failure increasingly deteriorates investor sentiment.
Moreover, developing new AMR products is not an easy task. The Roadmap identifies seven challenges and, overall, antimicrobial development is hampered by all of them.
This alarming situation requires a rapid and comprehensive response from the EU. The upcoming EU Pharmaceutical Strategy can be instrumental in creating the right framework and incentive conditions to address market failures in the development of innovative AMR products. We are thus calling for a practical set of solutions to be included in the Strategy, to enable Europe to play a leading role in the fight against AMR, and to ensure the survival of this strategic industrial ecosystem, composed mainly of SMEs.