Look back on 2023

As December arrives and 2023 draws to a close, it’s time for reflection. The statistics don’t lie: nearly 5 million people lose their lives annually due to bacterial infections, emphasizing the alarming impact of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). AMR disregards borders, affecting individuals regardless of nationality, race, or social status. This threat induced the World Health Organization (WHO) to rank it among the top 10 global public health concerns, aggravated by the lack of investment in developing new antimicrobials.

It is easy to focus on the negatives around AMR but we think it is also important to shine a light on the successes and support initiatives that are working.

At the global policy level progress has been made. By November, 178 countries had formulated national action plans aligned with the 2015 Global Action Plan (GAP). Moreover, within the Health Track of G20 India 2023, AMR has is now part of the Priority No. 1, focusing on “prevention, preparedness, and response to health emergencies with emphasis on One Health & Antimicrobial Resistance.” This critical issue has been a focal point in detailed deliberations across three meetings of the Health Working Group (HWG) of G20. We look forward to the UN high level meeting in Sep 2024.

In October, the World Health Organization announced the members of the first Task force of AMR survivors. This taskforce is constituted of people who have survived drug-resistant infections themselves or cared for those with serious drug-resistant infections. They will serve as champions who can help shape the AMR narrative globally and influence policies that affect AMR. We hope that this ‘human face’ of AMR will put an end to the discussion that there are not patient groups for AMR.

The “Overcoming Resistance” report from the Council of Canadian Academies / Conseil des Académies Canadiennes (CCA) also gave us hope. The report’s key finding suggests that a Subscription-style Pull Incentive (SPI), similar to the UK’s model but tailored to Canada’s healthcare system, could foster the development of innovative antimicrobials benefiting Canadians and the global community. This is particularly relevant as the UK moves from test phase to permanent introduction of the “Netflix Model” introduced by the NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

At the European funding level, the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) has been established through a collaborative agreement between the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB), marking a €100 million guarantee. This initiative aims to bolster investments within the health sector, facilitating the financing of cutting-edge research and development for medical countermeasures and innovative technologies dedicated to pandemic preparedness. This helps companies that are already on their way with further funding.

Investments in AMR fighting companies are always good news, and we couldn’t leave LimmaTech Biologics AG $37 Million Series A financing out. This financing round co-led by Adjuvant Capital, AXA IM ALTS – Real Assets, and the Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund. This will enable LimmaTech to advance its proprietary technology platform and accelerate its pipeline of preclinical and clinical vaccine candidates against increasingly dangerous bacterial infections.

We also can’t leave out the landmark license and collaboration agreements to treat bacterial infections by expanding access to cefiderocol in 135 countries between Shionogi & Co., Ltd, the Global Antibiotic R&D Partnership (GARDP) and the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI). This was the first license agreement for an antibiotic to treat serious bacterial infections between a pharmaceutical company and a non-profit organization driven by public health priorities. This shows how we can bring innovative antibiotics to market globally.

2023 was also a great year for INCATE. INCATE’s supporting partner Leibniz Association invested €1m in the project, allowing the team to grow and become even more focused on assisting innovators in this fight against the silent pandemics.  It was also the year we have reached the mark of over 240 direct contacts from startups and initiatives and a growing portfolio of 29 ventures (with more in the pipeline). It was the year we also had the first venture achieving the Stage II, congratulations to the Invitris team.

The INCATE support model has proven value for early stage ventures and this allowed us to expand to new geographies and create new strong and important partnerships with Bioaster and Kineticos Life Sciences.

INCATE is proud to have supported the AMR Conference 2023 as a sponsor, booth holder as well as host of the Pitching Event. In the 7th edition of this conference, INCATE also organized the Poster Prize and was on stage discussing how to coordinate the providers of Push incentives.

Speaking of which, the registration for the 8th AMR Conference is already open, have you saved your seat yet? You can find here all the information. We are sure looking forward to seeing you again in Basel in March!

We are looking forward to 2024 and hope to hear about how we can help you make a difference in the fight against AMR.


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