Drugmakers working on new treatments seeking swift congressional, regulatory action to ease financial concerns

Greg Frank, the director of infectious disease policy at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, said Achaogen’s fate sent a grave signal to companies in this space that are clamoring to prove their products’ success before cash runs out.

“Achaogen was the first to go bankrupt. If three or four more companies also go bankrupt, the ripple effects this will have on what’s left of the antimicrobial pipeline will be quite dire,” Frank said. “We need to have swift action and signs from the U.S. government, Congress and the administration that they are really acting on this issue and trying to address it comprehensively.”

Frank is spearheading “Working to Fight AMR,” the first public-facing coalition sounding the alarm on this issue in Washington. The group’s first order of business is advocating for legislation to catalyze development of new medication, most notably Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Bob Casey’s (D-Pa.) DISARM Act, which would adjust how Medicare reimburses hospitals for certain antibiotics and offer additional funding to hospitals when qualifying drugs are appropriately deployed.

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