“Its time to change the game-plan of how we deal with Superbugs”
Antimicrobial Regeneration Consortium (ARC) was founded in 2018, an effort aiming at streamlining academic labs and industry towards accelerated discovery and development of antibiotics. The funding environment has shifted over the past few years with government sources becoming increasingly limited. On the other hand, drug-resistant pathogens are exponentially increasing, causing innovation to severely lag behind evolution. In the light of urgency required for drug discovery and diagnostics, but limited federal funds, as well as slow-pace of peer-review and funding, there is need to develop an academic antibiotic innovation-accelerator such as ARC.
ARC, will be an effort aimed at:
- Connecting academic and medical expertise at various stages of drug design, development and testing across labs around the nation and globe
- Raising funding for spurring accelerated drug-development by connecting with industry, federal, private foundations, and government agencies
- Generating start-up companies that can commercialize the technology.
ARC mirrors a recent initiative launched called CARBx in 2016 which has been funding start-up companies for pre-clinical and early development pipeline of antibiotics and diagnostics, vaccines, and devices. However, no such platform exists for academic labs, while a lot of untapped expertise and potential exists at the academic level especially in early stages of discovery. ARC will address this missing gap and opportunity to spur development of innovative, adaptable, and tunable therapeutics and diagnostics to combat drug-resistant and evolving pathogens. To achieve this ARC is assembling a team with expertise in diagnostics, drug development, drug-delivery, pharmacology, toxicology, host-pathogen interactions, clinical microbiology, microbiome, immunology, mathematical biology, product development, pre-clinical and clinical studies. ARC has five divisions where scientists and industry collaborate to develop antimicrobials and diagnostics.
how is arc unique?
A number of antibiotic resistance initiatives focusing on raising awareness have been taken across the globe, but an initiative that focuses on accelerated antibiotic and diagnostic development has not been created. The challenge of dealing with an evolving pathogen is unique, often one that cannot be solved using conventional approaches. Academia offers creative ideas to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR), but often lacks focus and resources to convert ideas into products that will reach patients. On the other hand, industry has the resources and focus for developing products, but is risk-averse in using unconventional approaches. ARC will therefore serve as a bridge between academia and industry, by providing a clear and low-cost pathway to translate creative ideas into products, thus offering an opportunity to solve an urgent health challenge we face as a human race.