Announcing an Indo-Dutch-Swiss collaboration platform for Antimicrobial Resistance mitigation through One Health

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A tripartite agreement to work together to promote One Health perspective in the AMR combat with Switzerland joining C-CAMP & Dutch Partners for WAAH Accelerator.

Antibiotics such as Penicillin are pillars of modern medicine that have enabled decades of healthcare advances. However indiscriminate use of antibiotics over time in food systems, agriculture, and health have now brought us to a situation where vulnerable populations particularly neonates, elderly, and immunocompromised are greatly exposed to life-threatening, intractable infections. A UN report projects an annual loss of nearly 10 million lives globally by 2050 due to AMR. To tackle this very problem, global bodies including the WHO, the G7 Health deliberation, and the G20 countries in 2023 meeting in New Delhi have pushed for the One Health approach.

In this context, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), an initiative supported by the Department of Biotechnology, has announced a next-generation tripartite Indo-European collaboration to address the grave challenges posed by Antimicrobial Resistance, with science, innovation, policy, and stewardship. This tripartite agreement welcomes a new entrant, Swissnex in India, the Swiss science and technology consulate part of a Swiss global network connecting Switzerland and the world in education, research, and innovation, as part of the WAAH! Accelerator which was originally signed between the Dutch Embassy and C-CAMP in December 2022.

The WAAH! Accelerator is working towards emphasizing co-creation and co-development of new technologies in the Water, Agriculture, Animal, and Human Health towards fulfilling the One Health approach to address AMR. This Accelerator was set up as a C-CAMP partnership with NADP (Netherlands Antibiotic Development Platform) and AMR Global, both Netherlands-based organizations. With Swissnex in India joining this program, this agreement will not only encourage path-breaking science but also prioritize faster impact on-field nationally and globally.

This tripartite agreement was announced on 30th Oct, 2023 at the C-CAMP premises by its Director-CEO Dr Taslimarif Saiyed, and Jonas Brunschwig CEO, Consul General, Swissnex in India at an exclusive event during the Indo-Swiss AMR Innovation Dialogue that brought selected AMR innovators from C-CAMP portfolio, and C-CAMP’s international partners to the same table as high-level delegates and policymakers from the Indian, Swiss and Dutch scientific ecosystems.

At the launch of this partnership, Prof. Ajay Sood, the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India, said in a video message, “I congratulate C-CAMP, Swissnex, and the Dutch Embassy for their vision to build this international Indo-European Accelerator for One Health under the aegis of the IAIH (India AMR Innovation Hub). The AMR challenge is huge and cannot be solved by one country. This agreement I’m certain will bring together the best minds, regulators, science, and financial expertise to accelerate the idea-to-market journey of emerging interventions.”

Welcoming Switzerland into the WAAH! Accelerator, Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed said, “With Swissnex joining us, this reenergized WAAH! will leverage all the existing multi-national partners of IAIH in driving positive change in AMR innovations development, especially in diagnostics and drug discovery. At C-CAMP we have some of the world’s most exciting AMR innovations from therapeutics, diagnostics, and preventatives. We believe this collaboration will bring a global perspective to this rapidly evolving space in Indian R&D and accelerate product development across geographies.”

On joining this platform, Jonas Brunschwig CEO, Consul General, Swissnex in India, added, “A year ago, we signed a Collaboration Agreement with C-CAMP to deepen the Indo-Swiss relations in AMR innovation. Today we are entering a new phase with the launch of the Indo-Swiss Innovation Platform, a multi-year initiative to deepen the collaboration between our countries in health, sustainability and digital transformation. It is auspicious that we are joining WAAH! during the Innovation Platform’s first activity: the Indo-Swiss AMR Innovation Dialogue, a three-day gathering of nearly 50 experts at the frontlines AMR, and it is great to do so in collaboration not only with India but also with Dutch peers.”

The partners have prioritized problem areas within AMR that they will address in a phase-wise manner. As a start, the WAAH! plans to roll out a global AMR challenge in early 2024 after a detailed needs-assessment exercise by the stakeholders, and identification of a subset of AMR challenges that can be addressed with innovations, while efficiently leveraging the respective Innovation networks.

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October 30, 2023