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NIH Funding Antibacterial Resistance Clinical Research Net

MRSA bacteria emerge from dead white blood cells (Frank DeLeo, NIH)

MRSA bacteria emerge from dead white blood cells (Frank DeLeo, NIH)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of National Institutes of Health, is establishing a network of research universities to carry out clinical studies on antibacterial resistance. The first installment of $2 million will fund a leadership group of 20 researchers nationwide,with total potential funding of $62 million by 2019.

The Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group is led by Vance Fowler of Duke University and Henry Chambers of University of California in San Francisco. UCSF’s Chambers will be responsible for developing the scientific agenda for the program, while Duke’s Fowler will be operational director.  The project’s lab center, statistics and data management, and administration will also be at Duke University.

The leadership group will design and manage a series of clinical studies to identify solutions to the problem of infections from bacteria resistant to antibiotic drugs, which have become more prevalent in health care and community settings. Examples are E coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. This growing problem limits or eliminates treatment options for physicians.

The studies conducted by the projected are expected to address:

– Early-stage evaluations of new antibacterial drugs

– Clinical trials to improve the performance of current antibacterial drugs to reduce their risk of resistance

– Diagnostics and devices to reduce the time needed to determine the bacteria causing infections

– Best practices to prevent the development and spread of antibacterial-resistant infections

Duke University says the project will also investigate the pharmacokinetics or behavior of drugs in patients, as well as antibacterial resistance among children.

The clinical studies will be conducted through NIAID’s network of clinical trials units, established initially for testing HIV/AIDS drugs, now expanded to cover other infectious diseases. Each unit has one or more clinical test sites, along with pharmacies, labs, administrative centers, and community advisory boards.

Fowler tells more about the project in the following video from Duke University.

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