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Proposal for commissioned research: Alternatives to Antibiotics/Antimicrobials, jointly funded by Department of Health and Wellcome Trust

22 August 2014

The Department for Health and the Wellcome Trust wish to commission a written ‘think-piece’ on the emerging alternative therapies to antibiotic/antimicrobial drugs that are most likely to be viable. The report will inform policy and decision makers and contribute to the broader work on a ‘One Health’ antimicrobial resistance (‘AMR’) action plan. Note – short deadline of 9am on 1 September 2014.

Purpose: The Department for Health and the Wellcome Trust wish to commission a written ‘think-piece’ on the emerging alternative therapies to antibiotic/antimicrobial drugs that are most likely to be viable. The report will inform policy and decision makers and contribute to the broader work on a ‘One Health’ antimicrobial resistance (‘AMR’) action plan.

Scope: Written report describing current and emerging viable options for alternative therapies to antibiotic / antimicrobial drugs. This could include new developments and technologies, as well as revisiting existing or stalled technologies in innovative ways. Experts tendering for this work will be asked to propose a defined scope for whether this report should cover antibiotics only or extend to antimicrobial drugs more generally and why.
The report will primarily review emerging technologies and emerging ideas and innovations for alternatives, focusing on leading viable options and consider the value in investigating these further. As part of this assessment high-level consideration of the barriers to development and eventual use should be included.
Alternatives could include but not be limited to: vaccines, phage therapy, monoclonal antibodies, biologics and microbiome therapies, and other concepts on the horizon. This should also include revisiting previous approaches that may have stalled or the repurposing of current treatments.

Output and Audience: A ‘think-piece’ examining viable options for alternative therapies of antibiotic / antimicrobial drugs, covering any alternative that is not a small molecule. The audience for the ‘think piece’ will in the first instance be policy makers and other decision makers and it should therefore be made reasonably accessible to non-scientists. It is also likely to be of interest to a broader audience. A distilled piece of the work is expected to be of peer review quality and targeted at publications with a broad readership such as BMJ. A high level summary of the findings, targeted at policy makers and opinion formers should be produced in parallel.

Who: Individual academics, or a small consortium of academic experts to tender for this work. Those who undertake the work should consult extensively with other experts in the field and report progress periodically to the Department of Health and the Trust.

Budget: The work is expected to cost approximately £40k-£50k. The work will be jointly funded by the Department of Health and the Wellcome Trust. There is scope to request additional resource should the tender include proposals to run focus groups or workshops to share and catalyse ideas as part of the data gathering process. The Trust is able to facilitate the organisation and hosting of such meetings if included in a proposal.

Timing: A report is required on or before 26 January 2015.

Tenders: A short outline proposal setting out who will undertake the work, relevant expertise, methodology, timeline and budget are requested to be sent to Sarah Rappaport (S.Rappaport@wellcome.ac.uk / +44 (0) 20 7611 7240) by 1 September 2014.

 

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