The Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP) and Penta; the pediatric infectious diseases research network have joined forces to tackle drug-resistant infections in children. The strategic collaboration aims to accelerate pediatric development of antibiotic treatments including clinical trials designed to meet regulatory requirements; and trials with a focus on public health interventions to inform treatment guidelines.
So globally more than three million childhood deaths result from infectious diseases; such as pneumonia and sepsis. Children are also particularly by antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In Europe, a recent study found that infants under one-year-old bear the highest burden of drug-resistant infections; with a major impact on health, economy, and society. The impact is expected to even more severe in many low and middle-income countries.

Antibiotics for the treatment

“Ending unnecessary childhood deaths is a global health priority; The development of child-appropriate antibiotics for the treatment of drug-resistant infections. Therefore in response to this urgent global public health need, GARDP and Penta have embarked on a joint mission to develop and deliver accessible antibiotic treatments to tackle serious bacterial infections in children.”
Tackling AMR and its effects on children are critical to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); in particular, the children’s health targets under SDG 3; which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all. prioritizing the development of child-friendly antibiotics is an essential component of this. So children, particularly babies and infants, need medicines that are adapted to their specific needs.
Scarce evidence means child-friendly antibiotic treatment options are often limit; with pediatric evaluation of antibiotics, only happening years after treatments are registered for use in adults. But GARDP and Penta’s partnership consolidates plans to help overcome this gap through the development of a global children’s antibiotic platform. Building on Penta’s international network of clinical trial sites and pediatric experts.

The regulatory authorities

The platform objectives include to: develop streamlined pediatric development plans acceptable to regulatory authorities; accelerate regulatory approval of treatments by ensuring children’s trials are starts as early as possible; incorporate innovative designs to maximize the information that can gain from each trial.

“The knowledge created can help public health and industry partners to efficiently design and conduct their pediatric plans. This will speed up access to antibiotics and facilitate the dissemination, but the routine implementation of global treatment guidelines”. GARDP and Penta have established strong relationships with academic and/or government institutions from across Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America.
Such engagement from countries worldwide will be critical to the success; of the platform and its trial networks. In conclusion,  “Country partnerships are critical for the children’s antibiotic platform to flourish and reach their full potential” concluded Dr Balasegaram “GARDP and Penta call on governments worldwide, as well as academics, donors, maternal child health organizations, public institutions, the private sector, scientists and more; anyone with an interest in overcoming AMR in children.