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India AMR Innovation Hub to focus on thwarting indiscriminate use of antibiotics

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Saturday, November 27, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

India Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) Innovation Hub will now prioritize its focus on thwarting indiscriminate use of antibiotics. The National Action Plan on AMR by the Union government spanning between 2017-21 focuses on strengthening laboratories in human, animal, food and environment sectors, as well as ensuring surveillance of antimicrobial resistance.

It is here the Bengaluru-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), a globally recognized innovation ecosystem, initiated the India AMR Innovation Hub.

AMR is a healthcare challenge. India is one of the most affected geographies, where out of a projected AMR related 10 million fatalities globally, at least 20-25% or 2.5 million succumb to the dreaded condition.

The latest Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) data indicates that over 50% ICU patients battling a type of pneumonia caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria have stopped responding to one of the most powerful carbapenem class of antibiotics. Bacteria in hospital settings are much more resistant and deadlier because of frequent use of antibiotics.

Moreover, India accounts for the highest burden of infections which is a threat as antimicrobial treatment regimens associated with conditions such as cancer treatment and post-operative care are also beginning to fail. 

In this context, C-CAMP has brought together national and global stakeholders in AMR to make an impact and change in India. The key objective of India AMR Innovation Hub is to reduce the AMR burden in India through extensive participation in the national efforts to tackle this global health challenge.

According to Dr Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO & Director, C-CAMP, AMR is a silent pandemic and there is a need to come together and fight this health challenge collectively, for the well-being of us and the coming generations. IAIH will rope in stakeholders to select priority areas and build intervention towards reducing the burden in India and beyond.

“IAIH will focus on Human AMR, Human-Animal interface and Neglected Tropical Disease (NTDs). The ecosystem will accelerate the creation of scientific and clinical knowledge base, regulatory expertise, capacity building support such as funding and advanced R&D infrastructure. In addition, there will be policy measures for public health and improving access to control AMR spread.”

To this end, IAIH partners include national and global AMR stakeholders from public health organizations including WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, CARB-X, FIND, PATH, GARDP, DND. Apart from this, it has roped Narayana Health, Cytecare Cancer Hospitals, RxDx Healthcare, ChanRe Rheumatology and Immunology Centre and Research, St John’s Medical College and Hospital. Besides pharma and biotech industry majors are also represented with Zydus Cadila, Gangagen, Bugworks Johnson & Johnson, Elanco, Godrej Agrovet along with ICMR, DBT, ICAR. 

Recently, IAIH convened a meeting chaired by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and will soon outline specific interventions and prioritize focus areas in alignment with the National Action Plan on AMR. 

In sync with the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week observed annually from November 18 to 24 annually, Preserving Life of Existing Antibiotics (PLEA), administered a pledge to more than 1,000 healthcare professionals, including doctors, pharmacists, nurses and lab technicians. PLEA is a non-profit organisation which is part of Venus Medicine Research Centre (VMRC), the R&D wing of Venus Remedies, which has waged a determined battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

 

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