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In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

August 21, 2023 by Hannah Sachs-Wetstone

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As COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations rise across the United States, last week Moderna reported initial data that showed the efficacy of their updated COVID-19 vaccine, which was originally aimed at protecting against the XBB.1.5 subvariant, against the increasingly dominant Eris (EG.5) and Fornax (FL 1.5.1) subvariants. The updated vaccine is expected to be available in the fall, pending approvals from US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other national regulators. Novavax, as well as Pfizer and partner BioNTech, are also advancing updated shots.

The United Kingdom’s Fleming Fund last week announced that it will provide up to $267.5 million for strengthening antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance capacity in low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia, where the threat and burden of AMR is the highest. Specifically, the funding will go to upgrading laboratories, introducing new genome sequencing technology, and supporting training sessions. This announcement, which came ahead of this past weekend’s G20 Health Minister’s Meeting, where AMR was an important topic, marks a significant investment in a data-driven approach to fighting the rising threat of AMR.

A new antibiotic combination drug that could significantly improve the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections and potentially serious infectious caused by highly resistant bacteria is now on track to receive a final review by FDA. Cefepime-taniborbactam, developed by Venatorx Pharmaceuticals and the Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP), could be approved as early as next February. If successful, the treatment would be the first new treatment in GARDP’s clinical development portfolio to gain regulatory approval and would be a boon to global equitable access to new antibiotic treatments due to GARDP’s exclusive rights to distribute and sub-distribute the treatment in 64 low- and middle-income countries.

About the author

Hannah Sachs-WetstoneGHTC

Hannah supports advocacy and communications activities and member coordination for GHTC. Her role includes developing and disseminating digital communications, tracking member and policy news, engaging coalition members, and organizing meetings and events.Prior to joining GHTC, more about this author