UAntwerp and partners fight against antibiotic resistance

Date: 1 April 2019

Introduction: UAntwerp, bioMérieux, and Wellcome Trust to coordinate VALUE-Dx, a European Public-Private Partnership to fight antimicrobial resistance through diagnostics.

The University of Antwerp, bioMérieux and Wellcome Trust announced the launch of VALUE-Dx, the first Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) project initiated by six in vitro diagnostic companies who join forces with 20 non-industry partners to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and improve patient outcomes. The purpose of VALUE-Dx is to transform medical practice to achieve more personalised, evidence-based antibiotic prescription and use in community care settings through the widespread use of clinical and cost-effective innovative diagnostic strategies. VALUE-Dx is co-funded by the European Commission (IMI), the Wellcome Trust and private companies, with a total budget of around 14 million euros over 4 years.

Diagnostics are deemed instrumental in guiding health care professionals in treating infectious diseases. However, in community care settings antibiotics are often overused and unnecessarily prescribed, accelerating AMR. VALUE-Dx is a European-wide approach to generate evidence on the medical, economic, and public health value of diagnostics in tackling AMR. It will focus on acute respiratory tract infections acquired in community care settings as they are the most frequent cause of medical consultation and inappropriate antibiotic use. The outcomes of VALUE-Dx could apply to other common infections such as urinary tract infections, blood stream infections, and hospital-acquired respiratory tract infections.

Diagnostisc are essential

According to Dr. Pierre Meulien, Executive Director, Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), “Diagnostics are an essential element in the fight against AMR. I am delighted that IMI is supporting a project that, for the first time, has been conceived by representatives of the diagnostics sector and includes world renowned  experts from a wide range of academic disciplines. Only by pooling expertise and working together in this way can we hope to address major challenges like AMR”.

“VALUE-Dx is a unique multidisciplinary consortium, with participation of clinicians, microbiologists, health economists, social scientists, and industry”, states Professor Dr. Herman Goossens of the University of Antwerp and leader of this project. “It should help to build the medical and economic case for rapid diagnostics as a public good in the fight against antibiotic resistance”.

Together we will be stronger

“Wellcome is very excited to support this European project”, says Tim Jinks of Wellcome Trust. “Diagnostics are an essential tool to help us tackle AMR, but in order to realise their full potential, we need to be using them much more widely than we currently are. Community care settings are often the first point of care for many people with common infectious diseases, and better use of diagnostics in these settings could significantly reduce unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics. The VALUE-Dx project will allow us to develop deep understanding of the economic, regulatory and policy value determinants of medical diagnostics and help drive the uptake of innovative diagnostic tools into everyday clinical use”.

“Diagnostic tests provide actionable information that are instrumental to enable reasonable use of antimicrobials”, explains Mark Miller, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at bioMérieux. “The diagnostic industry has a key role to play in the battle against AMR, and together we will be stronger to fight this global public health threat. We are convinced that the VALUE-Dx project will be a game changer to show the true medical and economic value of diagnostics to support antibiotic stewardship and preserve the efficacy of these medications for improving patient care today and for future generations”.

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The public-private partnership includes 26 partners:

Academia:

The Health Corporation – RAMBAM, University of Antwerp, Universidad De La Rioja, University of Edinburgh, University Hospital Antwerp, University Medical Center Utrecht, Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen, University of Oxford, University of Verona

Industry:

Accelerate Diagnostics, Allere (Abbott), Becton-Dickinson, bioMérieux, Bio-Rad France, Janssen Diagnostics

Professional and other types of organisations:

Berry Consultants, Bioaster, Boston University, European Respiratory Society, European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, Fondazione PENTA, Gesundheit Österreich GmbH, Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Wellcome Trust, ZonMw