The US-based Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG), part of the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht, the managing entity of the COMBACTE (Combatting Bacterial Resistance in Europe) consortium, will work together to solidify a comprehensive global community to combat the threat of antibiotic resistance around the world.
This collaboration is expected to take several forms, including joint design and implementation of clinical research, working meetings at scientific conferences like the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), and IDWeek, cross-entity working groups with diverse functional group participation, clinical trial innovations, data and protocol exchanges, and, contractual, regulatory, and systems harmonisation.
“We at the ARLG have long admired the work being done by COMBACTE to increase the efficacy of antimicrobial drug development,” said Vance Fowler, MD, an investigator at the DCRI and co-principal investigator of the ARLG. “Combining our efforts will allow us to maximise the work we both do to stop the advancement of antibacterial resistance.”
Both organisations have been working toward the same mission since each launched in 2013, and now, the two groups will share their work to increase synergy and avoid duplicative efforts in clinical research.
“We have already made efforts to expand our reach across Europe, where an increasing number of people suffer from infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” said Marc Bonten, MD, coordinator of COMBACTE and a professor at UMC Utrecht. “But by collaborating and sharing our progress with the ARLG, we can make a truly global impact beyond this population — an important consideration in a globally connected era in which epidemics travel across oceans quickly.”
As part of the agreement, the ARLG will have the opportunity to lead and coordinate U.S.-based studies for all clinical research initiated by COMBACTE, while COMBACTE will have the opportunity to lead and coordinate ARLG-initiated projects in Europe.
Earlier this year the European Clinical Research Alliance on Infectious Diseases (ECRAID) was formed, merging COMBACTE’s more than 850 clinical trial sites and 650 laboratories with the network of primary care sites coordinated by The Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)Emerging Epidemics (PREPARE) to form a European-wide sustainable clinical research organisation for infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance. The ARLG, with established collaborations in 19 countries, will help to expand these efforts outside of Europe. The alliance will enable innovative, flexible, and adaptive collaboration between the DCRI and UMC Utrecht.
“This is an exciting year for PREPARE to expand its work in reducing a serious public health threat,” said Herman Goossens, MD, coordinator of PREPARE and professor at University of Antwerp and UMC Utrecht. “First, we joined forces with COMBACTE by forming ECRAID, and now, we welcome a partnership with the ARLG, which will help all three organisations leverage a wider set of resources and a deeper pool of expertise.”