July 08, 2019

Research Roundup: GARDP to develop 5 new treatments for antibiotic resistant infections by 2025, researchers eliminated HIV from DNA of infected mice, and G20 leaders commit to advance global health

Ansley Kahn
Senior Program Assistant
PATH/Patrick McKern

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To help tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP) announced its new “5 BY 25” strategy to mobilize global stakeholders to raise the €500 million needed to develop five new antibiotic treatments by 2025. According to a GARDP press release, drug-resistant infections cause at least 700,000 deaths per year globally and addressing the growing threat of AMR will be key to achieving universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. With this new strategy, GARDP aims to develop and make accessible five new treatments that will focus on the priority pathogens identified by the World Health Organization, along with current unmet needs for diseases and key populations.

In a promising step towards an HIV/AIDS cure, researchers from Temple University and the University of Nebraska have successfully eliminated HIV from the DNA of infected mice using genome editing technology combined with a slow-release virus suppression drug. Researchers administered a treatment called LASER ART, or long-acting, slow-effective release antiretroviral therapy to suppress HIV cells from replicating in mice engineered to produce human T cells susceptible to the virus. The research team deployed the drug across several weeks to target tissue in the spleen, bone marrow, and brain where latent HIV reservoirs are likely to occur. The researchers then used CRISPR-Cas9, a gene-editing tool, to eliminate the remaining infective cells from the subject’s DNA. By the end of the study, researchers had successfully eliminated HIV from nine out of 23 mice. Researchers are now working on a version of the study with primates. If their methods continue to be successful, clinical trials could follow as soon as next summer.

Heads of state from the world’s largest economies committed to advance global health priorities at this year’s G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. In the G20 Osaka Leaders’ Declaration, they included commitments to move towards universal health coverage by bolstering primary health care and access to medicines, promote healthy aging by preventing noncommunicable diseases, improve emergency preparedness and response, provide support for the countries affected by the current Ebola outbreak, and identify better models for antimicrobial drug research and development. Participants in the summit, described as the “premier forum for international economic cooperation,” includes leaders from 19 countries and the European Union, as well as guest countries and international organizations.