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Antibiotic resistance

Develop new research and diagnosis solutions to address resistant infections

Alcimed Healthcare’s team is exploring the global health crisis of antibiotic resistance, as part of the efforts to address antimicrobial resistance, helping their clients create new treatment and diagnostic approaches, understand public health challenges and penetrate different geographies.

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antibiotic resistance healthcare consulting firm experts specialistsTHE Challenges related to antibiotic resistance

  • What is antibiotic resistance and antimicrobial resistance?

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a bacterium to develop defense mechanisms that allow it to escape the action of an antibiotic drug.

While bacteria represent the highest priority category of drug-resistant microbes, other types of microorganisms such as viruses, fungi, and parasites, can be unresponsive to drugs, resulting in antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

  • What are the main challenges related to antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance is considered a global health crisis, with some stakeholders referring to it as the next pandemic. With 1.27 million deaths worldwide in 2019, the death toll is rising and is estimated to cause up to 10 million deaths per year by 2050.

This antibiotic resistance leads to the inability to treat and control the disease caused by an infection. The impact on human health is directly related to antibiotics use, but also indirectly related to the consumption of antibiotics used for health and growth in agriculture and livestock.

Low- and middle-income countries are particularly affected by resistant bacteria, which are considered a top priority from a medical perspective.

Pharmaceutical and MedTech companies, as well as public organizations and alliances, must be united and work together to control this global public health threat. But these companies and organizations face many challenges, such as low profitability of antibiotics, stewardship, and market access difficulties.

Overuse or misuse of antibiotics can cause bacteria resistant to these treatments. Good control and stricter guidance on antibiotic use are needed for a good prevention of the spread of resistant bacteria, and consequently, the spread of an infection.

Multiple guidance strategies are proposed to provide the correct doses of drugs, know when to prescribe antibiotics, and know when to discontinue antibiotic use to limit the development of bacteria resistant to our current treatments.

How to optimize antibiotics use? How to raise awareness and develop therapeutic and medical education on antibiotic resistance and antibiotics usage? Which tool? Which channel?
Antibiotics are not profitable for pharmaceutical companies because they are expensive and long to develop, and their price is usually low, impairing the financial return on investment compared to traditional drugs.

The lack of innovative solutions in this area results in a limited number of new antibiotics coming to market, which compromises their effectiveness. On average, antimicrobial resistance is reported for most new agents two to three years after they are introduced to the market.

New antibiotics, sometimes from start-up companies, face difficulties related to the requirements of the agencies regulating marketing authorizations, as well as to the lack of appropriate business models that allow for sufficient profitability. This has led to a succession of failures and a lack of interest from industry. Ultimately, even if new antibiotics do reach the market, they may only reach the third line of treatment and are therefore rarely prescribed.

Besides, to date, we do not have many methods to prevent the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Fundamental research, empowered by data science probably, is needed to develop predictive models to resistance development.

What are the innovative funding mechanisms for antibiotic R&D? How to develop a profitable case with a new antibiotic? Can AI help in the discovery of new antibiotics or in the prediction of antibiotic resistance?
The most problematic antibiotic resistance, including multidrug resistance, occurs in low- and middle-income countries. Despite the production of new antibiotics, only about one-third of antimicrobial drugs are covered by access strategies in these countries. Getting antibiotics to emerging countries requires optimization of logistics and restructuring of health care systems.

Joint efforts are being made by public and private organizations to combat antibiotic resistance. Communication, management and organization are not necessarily in place and need to be defined, which may vary by country and antibiotic.

For example, the One Health initiative, created in 2000, promotes an integrated, systems approach to human, public, animal, and environmental health at the local, national, and global levels to combat emerging illnesses with pandemic potential, including antibiotic resistance.

Their primary focus is to provide guidelines for mitigating this crisis, given the differences in regulation, access, and stewardship already in place depending on the geography.

How are public organizations helping with resistant bacteria? What global health initiatives exist to contrast antibiotic resistance that could be leveraged?
The use of antibiotics in livestock and agriculture, which we ultimately consume, impacts the generation of antibiotic resistance. This represents the largest consumption of antibiotics worldwide.

Antibiotics are used on animals and in agriculture to prevent and treat diseases caused by bacterial infections, as well as to rapidly increase the growth of animals. The pressure of mass production of livestock and agriculture therefore leads to unnecessary overuse of antimicrobials drugs.

Even if in some countries the use of antibiotics as growth promoter is banned, guidelines and restrictions on the use of antibiotics for animal health and agriculture should be developed and implemented globally.

What are the effective alternatives to antibiotics for rent animals and for plants? What kind of agricultural practice or setting can help in reducing the antibiotic use?

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How do we support you in your antibiotic resistance or antimicrobial resistance projects?

For over 25 years, Alcimed has accompanied its clients in multiple explorations in healthcare, notably related to antibiotic resistance and new antibiotic approaches. We have conducted 50+ projects in the context of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance.

The players we have helped with our explorations include:

  • Pharmaceutical companies to position their existing products in new infectious diseases, or to investigate new opportunities with products in development
  • Non-profit and private organizations to better understand the market of antibiotics for different indications and geographic areas

The importance of antibiotic resistance around the world has allowed our team to explore its impact globally, while investigating the key differentiating elements in each country or region. Thanks to our wide range of clients, as well as our exploration of various geographical fields and project types, we have gained a comprehensive and global understanding of the issues surrounding antibiotic resistance.

Our projects include, amongst others, exploration of products and new technologies, assessment of the state of the art of products, specific market studies, business case development, mapping of programs and ecosystems, market access strategies, deciphering care pathways or agricultural practices in any geography.

For more information on the key challenges related to antibiotic resistance and how innovation can help address this global health crisis, check out our position paper on antibiotic resistance!

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We worked for a leading healthcare player facing the challenge to repurpose an existing antibiotic for neonatal sepsis to address antibiotic resistance. Alcimed evaluated the demand for this antibiotic for neonatal sepsis due to bacterial infections, by analyzing the updated epidemiology across several geographies. Our team then assessed the current supply capabilities of the antibiotic in the in-scope geographical areas to ultimately evaluate the risk of insufficient supply. Our project helped our client to understand the local constraints and better prepare for the operational challenges of their drug repurposing.
Alcimed supported an international healthcare stakeholder to assess the current global efforts of pharmaceutical companies to contrast antibiotic resistance. Alcimed performed a benchmarking exercise to evaluate what strategies are put into place by companies with respect to market access, education, logistics and environmental practices, and other aspects. The project allowed to assess the receptivity of pharmaceutical companies with respect to antibiotic resistance and what kinds of collaborations may be developed in order to address this global health crisis.
Alcimed assisted a pharmaceutical company in estimating the market potential of a bacteriophage (a biological entity with antibiotic activity) for five different indications in several geographical areas. Our team estimated the potential revenues of the bacteriophage taking into account the price and the duration of the treatments, based on different scenarios of market share projections, according to the analyzed competitive offer.
Alcimed conducted an exploratory project for an organization to better understand the burden, current practices and unmet needs of hospitals in emerging countries to address the spread of bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance. In this project, our team first identified key barriers and unmet clinical needs by geographical area prior to co-building with our client adapted and prioritized solutions for each identified unmet need.

Founded in 1993, Alcimed is an innovation and new business consulting firm, specializing in innovation driven sectors: life sciences (healthcare, biotech, agrifood), energy, environment, mobility, chemicals, materials, cosmetics, aeronautics, space and defence.

Our purpose? Helping both private and public decision-makers explore and develop their uncharted territories: new technologies, new offers, new geographies, possible futures, and new ways to innovate.

Located across eight offices around the world (France, Europe, Singapore and the United States), our team is made up of 220 highly-qualified, multicultural and passionate explorers, with a blended science/technology and business culture.

Our dream? To build a team of 1,000 explorers, to design tomorrow's world hand in hand with our clients.


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