On April 1st 2019 the kick-off meeting of the European public-private partnership VALUE-Dx took place. This European-wide approach aims to generate evidence on the medical, economic, and public health value of diagnostics in tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR). As a member of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR), ZonMw participates in this consortium.
VALUE-Dx is the first Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) project that is conceived by representatives of the diagnostics sector and includes world renowned experts from a wide range of academic disciplines. The project is initiated by 6 in vitro diagnostic companies that join forces with 20 non-industry partners that together set out to combat AMR and improve patient outcomes. The consortium aims to transform medical practice to achieve more personalised, evidence-based antibiotic prescription and use in community care settings through the widespread use of clinical and cost-effective innovative diagnostic strategies. VALUE-Dx is co-funded by the European Commission (IMI), the Wellcome Trust and private companies, with a total budget of approximately 14 million euros over 4 years.
Diagnostics are an essential element in the fight against AMR, and as mentioned by Dr. Pierre Meulien, Executive Director of IMI, “Only by pooling expertise and working together in this way can we hope to address major challenges like AMR”. The project will focus on acute respiratory tract infections acquired in community care settings. These infections are the most frequent cause of medical consultation and inappropriate antibiotic use. Moreover, the outcomes of VALUE-Dx have the potential to be applied to other common infections such as urinary tract infections, blood stream infections, and hospital-acquired respiratory tract infections.
“VALUE-Dx is a unique multidisciplinary consortium, with participation of clinicians, microbiologists, health economists, social scientists, and industry”, states Professor Dr. Goossens of the University of Antwerp and coordinator of this project. Furthermore, he mentions: “the VALUE-Dx project will be a game changer to show the true medical and economic value of diagnostics to support antibiotic stewardship and preserve the efficacy of these medications for improving patient care today and for future generations.”
ZonMw participates in JPIAMR since 2012. This research initiative of 27 countries coordinates national public funding to support AMR research and activities in a transnational manner. ZonMw coordinates two work packages. One has resulted in a newly updated strategic research and innovation agenda including priority areas such as the development of new therapeutics, diagnostics, transmission, environment, interventions and surveillance. The second one promotes reuse of research data and microbial collections, as well as supporting services and research infrastructures.
Enabling reuse of data and microbial collections is the common interest of JPIAMR and VALUE-Dx. Therefore, ZonMw is currently developing a survey with the aim of getting an overview of existing resources and services that are relevant for AMR research. The overview will be made available for the entire AMR research community. It will advance AMR research by making valuable resources and services findable, and contribute to their reusability.