Investors, pharma, advocates cite “market failure” in developing new treatments

WASHINGTON — Large pharmaceutical companies, investors, and other funders must increase investments to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and must do so now, experts and industry insiders said here this week.

However, most expressed skepticism that this will happen.

Speaking at the annual World AMR Congress, Greg Frank, PhD, director of global public policy for Merck, noted that “there’s very big challenges” in raising funds to address AMR.

Mary Schaheen, president of Prevail Partners, an investment fund focused on life sciences companies, said her firm wants to help, but there seems to be a disconnect. It has become harder to find smaller companies developing new therapies that her firm wants to fund, but she hears the smaller companies struggle to find funders.

AMR has been called the silent pandemic by many public health experts, with new antibiotic-resistant bacteria emerging and more strains likely coming given antibiotic overuse internationally, not to mention the scarcity in new drug development throughout the 21st century to counter them.

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