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Launching event National Antibiotic Development Platform

Antibiotic resistance is one of the major threats to human health. This week the National Antibiotic Development Platform, NADP, was officially launched via a meeting in Utrecht, with many of the stakeholders in the field present. Professor of Molecular Biotechnology Gilles van Wezel is member of the NADP board and chair of the programme committee for the new antibiotic call NACTAR from NWO.

Antimicrobial Resistance
Due to the overuse of antibiotics, bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. This means that diseases which are currently easy to cure, will likely become life-threatening if no new medicines are developed. But overuse of drugs and concomitant resistance is not the only problem. Alarmingly, in the past 30 years there no new classes of antibiotics have been introduced into the market.  This “discovery void” means that scientists need to step up their efforts to find new antibiotics.

The development of new drugs takes a lot of time and is costly, whereas the return on investment is low. After years of development it is getting increasingly difficult to find new compounds while society is urgently calling for breakthroughs to help tackle antimicrobial resistance. 

National Antibiotic Development Platform
The Netherlands Antibiotic Development Platform (NADP) facilitates the collaboration between public and private organizations, to enhance the development of new antibiotics and alternative therapies for infectious diseases in humans and animals. The NADP aims to fill the gap by matching partners and thereby help setting up public-private partnerships and was set up with support from the Ministry of Health (VWS). The Leiden Centre for Antimicrobial Research (CARES), the Groningen Center for Sustainable Antimicrobials (CeSAM), the Netherlands Centre for One Health (NCOH) and Immunovalley collaborate within the platform.

At the launch event, strategic outlooks by Dr. Marcel van Raaij, Director Medicines and Medical Technology at the Ministry of Health (VWS) and Dr. Seamus O’Brian from Astra Zeneca, were combined with scientific views from Nobel laureate Prof. Ben Feringa (Groningen) and from Dr. Nathaniel Martin (Utrecht). A new research call entitled Novel Antibacterial Compounds and Therapies Antagonizing Resistance (NACTAR) was announced at the NADP launch via a Q+A session by Gilles van Wezel (IBL, Leiden) and Gerdine Stout (NWO). The call will be financed by the ministry of Health (VWS) and NWO. As the name suggests, the call aims to develop novel solutions to treat infectious diseases caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. see also here for more info on how the programme was set up.

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