DURHAM — The Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG), a research network for which the Duke Clinical Research Institute acts as a coordinating center, received a federal award worth up to $102.5 million.
The mission: to execute clinical research to reduce the public health threat of antibacterial resistance.
The funding — which will be spread over seven years — is provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Antibacterial treatments are becoming less effective, resulting in an urgent threat to public health. A 2019 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect more than 2.8 million people annually, killing at least 35,000 in the U.S.
The ARLG, which received its inaugural funding from NIAID in 2013, is composed of more than 50 leading experts working together to innovate clinical trial design, inform guidelines, and improve clinical practice in infectious diseases.
The ARLG’s research team has collaborations in 19 countries and has initiated more than 40 clinical research studies involving more than 20,000 patients across more than 130 sites. Its three areas of research align with the CDC’s antibiotic resistance threats and include: infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli; infections caused by Gram-positive bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus; and diagnostics such as rapid point-of-care tests to detect drug resistance, guide antibacterial therapy, and support clinical trials.
“The renewal support from the NIAID will allow the ARLG to continue its collaborative work to advance science in antibacterial research, and to provide funding opportunities for the next generation of researchers dedicated to addressing this public health threat,” said Vance Fowler, M.D., ARLG co-principal investigator, member of the DCRI, and professor of medicine at the Duke University School of Medicine, in a statement.
“We are delighted to be able to continue to support efforts to fight antibiotic resistance by generating data that is used to inform dosing guidelines and developing diagnostic testing for better detection and timely treatment,” Fowler said.