Day 2 :
Roche Pharma Research and Early Development, Switzerland
Time : 08:30-08:55
Janet Hammond has been head of infectious diseases at Roche Pharma Research and Early Development (Roche pRED) since June 2012. She was previously vice-president, translational medicine in Roche pRED’s former virology research group. Before joining Roche, Janet served as chief medical officer and senior vice-president of global medical affairs at Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Her other industry positions have included: group director, global clinical research, virology and infectious diseases at Bristol-Myers Squibb; and head of clinical drug discovery virology at GlaxoSmithKline. Janet received her MD and PhD degrees from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Global public health bodies warn that without urgent, coordinated action the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era, where previously treatable common infections can once again kill. Antibiotic resistance inevitably develops through continuous bacterial evolution, but excessive inappropriate use of antibiotics accelerates adaptation of infectious organisms to antibacterial medicines. Appropriate antibiotic use accompanied by better testing and diagnostics may ensure treatments are maintained, for longer. This means the urgent need to develop new antibiotics must be accompanied by behavioural changes in how these vital medicines are utilised: A behavioural change in stewardship, for which the pharmaceutical industry can take a leading role. Antibiotic stewardship aims to achieve best clinical outcomes related to antibiotic use while minimizing toxicity and other adverse events: limiting pressure on bacterial populations that drives the emergence of antibacterial-resistant strains. Antibacterial stewardship involves coordinated interventions designed to improve and measure appropriate use of antibiotics by promoting the use of optimal treatment including dosing, duration of therapy and route of administration. The need for coordinated action against multi-drug resistant bacteria has been globally recognized. In May 2014, the Transatlantic Taskforce for Antimicrobial Resistance (TATFAR) recommended incentivizing antibacterial drug development, as is now being done. Governments and regulatory authorities have also created special pathways for new antibiotics given the high, unmet medical need. Pathogen-specific antibiotic development provides the potential to target and tackle specific bacterial infections with the opportunity to combine novel diagnostics that promote personalized healthcare. This innately advocates a more selective and responsible prescribing behavior than with broad-spectrum antibiotics. However broad-spectrum antibiotics are vitally important in treating the majority of bacterial infections in clinical practice and must not be overlooked. Drug development programs have been initiated which look at how novel treatments can restore or potentiate the antibacterial effects of broad-spectrum antibiotics, like beta-lactam antibiotics. The pharmaceutical industry’s role should not be limited to novel drug development: it also has the opportunity to vitally support public and healthcare professionals’ education on the appropriate use of novel treatments. This will contribute to a wider commitment in working with medical societies and institutions in the fight against antibiotic resistance.
Dutch Armed Forces/Royal Dutch Navy, Netherlands
Keynote: Novel technologies and innovations for prevention and treatment of “Infectious diseases” including EBOLA
Time : 08:55-09:20
Stef Stienstra is a Strategic and creative consultant in biomedical science, with a parallel career as a Commander of the reserve of the Royal Dutch Navy. For the Dutch Armed Forces he has responsibility for the counter measures in CBNRe threats and (medical) consequence management both in a military and a civilian (terrorism) setting. He is strategic functional specialist for “Health & Environment” of the 1-Civil-Military-Interaction Command (1-CMI) of the Dutch Armed Forces and for 2015 also in the NATO Response Force (NRF), which is in 2015 the responsibility of the 1-German-Netherlands-Corps (1-GNC). rnHe was the director of the 2014 World Congress of CBRNe Science & Consequence Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. rnIn his civil career he works internationally as consultant or as scientific supervisory board member for several medical and biotech companies, merely involved in biodefense. He is also visiting professor for Punjab University in Pakistan and Rhein-Waal University in Germany.He has finished his studies in Medicine and in Biochemistry at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands and has extensive practical experience in cell biology, immuno-haematology, biodefense and transfusion medicine. His natural business acumen and negotiation competence helps to initiate new successful businesses, often created out of unexpected combinations of technologies. His good understanding of abstract science combined with excellent skills in the communication of scientific matters to non-specialists, helps him with strategic consulting at top level management.
Introduction: It is impossible to protect whole nations from the effects of bioterrorism by preventive vaccination. There are too many possible agents, the costs would be exorbitantly high, and the health risks associated with complex mass vaccination programs would be unacceptable for the public health authorities. Adequate protection, however, could be provided via a combination of rapid detection and diagnosis with proper treatment for those exposed to biological weapon agents. Preferably this should be done with therapeutics, which would be beneficial in all stages of infection to disease.
Methodology: Immunoglobulins and/or monoclonal antibodies, preferably from human origin, can be used to prevent severe complications by neutralizing or blocking the pathological elements of biological agents and these are the optimal candidates to be deployed in case of biological warfare or a bioterrorist event. Also for natural outbreaks, like the recent and still ongoing Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa, the use of human antibodies against the virus have shown to be effective. These antibodies were givens as immunoglobulin obtained from the plasma from survivors of the EVD or as isolated antibodies from human EBV survivors, which are multiplied in human cell culture processes.
Discussion: As an example of the latter technology recent research in aerosol challenged rabbits has shown that the application of a combination of a human monoclonal antibody against the protective antigen (PA) and one against the lethal factor (LF) of the anthrax toxin is highly efficacious even when given 48 hours after the exposure of animals to anthrax spores.
Conclusion: Having an effective diagnostic system and an effective therapy, one can choose therapy above vaccination for biological threats, which have a low prevalence.