Side by side: Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation supports AMR Action Fund in the fight against multi-resistant microbes
(18. Feb. 2021, Mainz, Germany) According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every year more than 700,000 people die from infections with microbes that are resistant to all drugs available today. Experts fear that by 2050, this annual death toll could rise to ten million. Consequently, the WHO counts antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among the greatest threats to global health. To control this serious threat, the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the AMR Action Fund, an international initiative that aims to bring between 2 and 4 new antibiotics to patients by 2030.
The AMR is supported by the WHO and combines global efforts to solve the growing threat to our health posed by antimicrobial resistance. The AMR Action Fund is endorsed by industrial enterprises, as well as development banks such as the European Investment Bank (EIB), and renowned charitable organizations such as the Wellcome Trust, the world’s second-largest medical research foundation.
The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation supports the AMR Action Fund with USD 50 million. The AMR Action Fund was launched in July 2020. Its funds will be invested in biotech companies that are working on the research and development of promising new antibiotics. Concurrently with the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation, the European Investment Bank and the Wellcome Trust announce financial contributions to the AMR Action Fund to the tune of about USD 24 million and USD 67 million, respectively.
A broad coalition for public health
“We need innovative solutions to avert the looming health crisis posed by multi-resistant microbes. Without effective drugs against such pathogens, many infections can become deadly – even after medical procedures that today are reliable and routine. Supporting an initiative such as the AMR Action Fund fits well with our aims as a charitable foundation. We are helping to fight one of the largest threats to global health of our time,” says Christoph Boehringer, chairman of the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation. “This broad alliance of health organizations, governments, industrial enterprises, and charitable organizations lays important foundations. We are confident that the AMR Action Fund will enable the discoveries of scientific research to reach patients suffering from severe bacterial infections, and will help to ensure that they receive effective medical treatment.”
Speeding up clinical trials of new antibiotics
The AMR Action Fund has already successfully solicited more than USD 1 billion, which the fund will invest in biotech companies whose scientists are developing new antibiotics. These investments are intended to finance the critical steps between the development of a drug and its clinical application. After all, before patients can be treated with a new drug, it must prove itself to be effective and safe in elaborate and costly clinical trials. The fund is expected to be operational shortly and its search for research-driven biotech companies with a promising antibiotic pipeline will start in the first quarter of 2021.
Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation
The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that is committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht (1931–1991), a member of the shareholder family of the Boehringer Ingelheim company. Through its Perspectives Programme Plus 3 and its Exploration Grants, the Foundation supports independent junior group leaders. It also endows the international Heinrich Wieland Prize, as well as awards for up-and-coming scientists in Germany. In addition, the Foundation funds institutional projects in Germany, such as the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), the department of life sciences at the University of Mainz, and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg.