The crucial role of diagnostics
Diagnostic tests are able to identify the agent causing an infectious disease and to detect its potential resistance to antibiotics. Such tests contribute to the optimal use of antibiotics, used only to treat bacterial infections. Selecting the antibiotic best adapted to the targeted bacterium helps to slow the emergence of resistant bacteria and therefore to preserve the efficacy of antibiotics.
Developing these high medical value tests is a priority for bioMérieux. The Company is a pioneer in the development of diagnostic tests for the identification of pathogens, the detection of their potential resistance to antibiotics, as well as antibiotic susceptibility testing to help doctors determine precisely which treatment to prescribe.
The Company also takes part in programs to educate healthcare professionals and to raise public awareness about the importance of the appropriate use of antibiotics in order to combat this threat.
Renewed support for the GLOBAL-PPS
In 2018, bioMérieux renewed its support to the Global Point Prevalence Survey (GLOBAL-PPS**), which brings a unique knowledge of antibiotic consumption and antimicrobial resistance worldwide.
Coordinated by Professor Hermann Goossens and Dr. Ann Versporten of the University of Antwerp (Belgium), this survey highlights the importance of in vitro diagnostics and the need to expand the use of diagnostic tests to improve antibiotic prescribing practices worldwide.
The initial findings of this study, which was launched in 2015, sparked a great deal of interest and were published on April 19, 2018 in the scientific journal The Lancet Global Health.
In 2019, the GLOBAL-PPS will include an additional module on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). It is designed to provide additional tools to help hospitals implement action plans to reduce HAIs and promote the appropriate use of antibiotics.
In view of the importance of this information to effect beneficial changes in hospital practice, the GLOBAL-PPS will now be repeated annually.
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Targeted initiatives in the field
Commitment to the CDC’s AMR Challenge
In September 2018, bioMérieux joined the AMR (antimicrobial resistance) Challenge, an initiative organized by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to step up the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
The 3 commitments of bioMérieux:
- Innovative diagnostics: In 2018, approximately 75% of bioMérieux’s clinical R&D budget is dedicated to develop effective diagnostic solutions to combat AMR;
- International studies (GLOBAL-PPS);
- Public-private partnerships : COMBACTE-CDI and the VALUE-Dx projects.
CARE, a multi-partner program in China
In 2013, the Fondation Mérieux launched the CARE (China Against drug REsistance) Program. With the support of bioMérieux, which oversees its implementation, the CARE program aims to set up a new policy for prescribing antibiotics in order to limit the emergence of new resistance mechanisms. In addition to hygiene measures, this policy requires the reassessment of any antibiotic prescription after 48 hours, based on tests results provided by the microbiology laboratory, as well as a maximum treatment duration of seven days, except in exceptional circumstances. In 2016, the first point prevalence survey was conducted in four clinical departments of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University in Zhejiang Province. In 2018, the CARE program has been extended to 5 hospitals in different provinces of China.
COMBACTE, a European network to fight against antibiotic resistance
Within the framework of projects financed by the European Commission and led by IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative), bioMérieux is a partner of the COMBACTE-CDI project (COMbatting BACTerial resistance in Europe), dedicated to Clostridium difficile infections (CDI), which are among the most prevalent healthcare associated infections. Launched in November 2017 for a period of 3 years, it aims to better understand the epidemiology and the clinical impact of CDI in order to improve patient outcomes.
VALUE-Dx, a european consortium to demonstrate the value of diagnostic tests
Launched in April 2019, with a EUR 14 million budget over four years, VALUE-Dx project*** is coordinated by the University of Antwerp, bioMérieux and the Wellcome Trust. Through its co-leadership of the groundbreaking VALUE-Dx Project, bioMérieux is accelerating pan-European efforts to assess and quantify the medical, economic, and public health value of diagnostics for optimizing use of antibiotics and combatting AMR. Antibiotics are often over-used and unnecessarily prescribed in community care settings. The goal is to demonstrate -in the specific case of Community-Acquired Acute Respiratory Tract Infections (CA-ARTI) -the value of diagnostics as a fundamental tool to better target antibiotic prescribing. The project’s approach is to facilitate and accelerate the rigorous assessment and implementation of innovative diagnostic technologies in healthcare settings by establishing the needed infrastructure, methods, processes, and approaches. It also aims to evaluate and solve major hurdles to adopting diagnostics for acute respiratory tract infections in community care settings, including clinical education, psycho-social barriers, organizational challenges, regulatory and reimbursement issues.
PERFORM, a European project for rapid identification of bacterial infections in children
The European project PERFORM*** (Personalized risk assessment for improved management of febrile children across Europe) addresses the problem of identifying a bacterial infection and reducing inappropriate use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance by developing new tests to differentiate between a viral and a bacterial infection.
The PERFORM consortium brings together 18 international organizations from 10 countries. Of the 10, bioMérieux is the only partner from industry.
* Forecasts are alarming: by 2050, it is estimated that there will be more than 10 million AMR-related deaths annually, which represents one death every three seconds, with an associated cost of over US$100,000 billion: http://www.rand.org/randeurope/research/projects/antimicrobial-resistance-costs.html
** bioMérieux is the exclusive private sponsor of the Global Point Prevalence Survey. The Company funds the survey but plays no role in the study design, selection, analysis and interpretation of data nor in drafting the report. The data, which are strictly confidential, are stored anonymously at the Coordination Center of the University of Antwerp.
*** This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 820755. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA and bioMérieux SA, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Accelerate Diagnostics S.L., Abbott Laboratories, Bio-Rad Laboratories, BD Switzerland Sàrl, and The Wellcome Trust Limited.
**** The PERFORM grant is one of the largest awarded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 health program (€18 million). Over a five-year period (2016-2021), it provides funding for the development of novel diagnostic tests to improve care for children presenting with high fever on arrival at a hospital or a health clinic.