Organizations join forces to create global alliance against antibiotic resistance

April 13, 2019 – The ARLG and COMBACTE will work together on a number of initiatives designed to fight drug-resistant infections.

The U.S.-based Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG), part of the DCRI, and the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht, the managing entity of the COMBACTE (Combatting Bacterial Resistance in Europe) consortium, will work together to solidify a comprehensive global community to combat the threat of antibiotic resistance around the world.

This collaboration is expected to take several forms, including joint design and implementation of clinical research, working meetings at scientific conferences like the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), and IDWeek, cross-entity working groups with diverse functional group participation, clinical trial innovations, data and protocol exchanges, and, contractual, regulatory, and systems harmonization.

ARLG logo“We at the ARLG have long admired the work being done by COMBACTE to increase the efficacy of antimicrobial drug development,” said Vance Fowler, MD, an investigator at the DCRI and co-principal investigator of the ARLG. “Combining our efforts will allow us to maximize the work we both do to stop the advancement of antibacterial resistance.”

Both organizations have been working toward the same mission since each launched in 2013, and now, the two groups will share their work to increase synergy and avoid duplicative efforts in clinical research.

“We have already made efforts to expand our reach across Europe, where an increasing number of people suffer from infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” said Marc Bonten, MD, coordinator of COMBACTE and a professor at UMC Utrecht. “But by collaborating and sharing our progress with the ARLG, we can make a truly global impact beyond this population — an important consideration in a globally connected era in which epidemics travel across oceans quickly.”

As part of the agreement, the ARLG will have the opportunity to lead and coordinate U.S.-based studies for all clinical research initiated by COMBACTE, while COMBACTE will have the opportunity to lead and coordinate ARLG-initiated projects in Europe.

Earlier this year the European Clinical Research Alliance on Infectious Diseases (ECRAID) was formed, merging COMBACTE’s more than 850 clinical trial sites and 650 laboratories with the network of primary care sites coordinated by The Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)Emerging Epidemics (PREPARE) to form a European-wide sustainable clinical research organization for infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance. The ARLG, with established collaborations in 19 countries, will help to expand these efforts outside of Europe. The alliance will enable innovative, flexible, and adaptive collaboration between the DCRI and UMC Utrecht.

“This is an exciting year for PREPARE to expand its work in reducing a serious public health threat,” said Herman Goossens, MD, coordinator of PREPARE and professor at University of Antwerp and UMC Utrecht. “First, we joined forces with COMBACTE by forming ECRAID, and now, we welcome a partnership with the ARLG, which will help all three organizations leverage a wider set of resources and a deeper pool of expertise.”

The ARLG is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, under Award Number UM1AI104681. COMBACTE-NET, COMBACTE-CARE, and COMBACTE-MAGNET receive support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking under grant agreement n° 115523 | 115620 | 115737 resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) and EFPIA companies in kind contribution. COMBACTE-CDI receives support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement n° 777362 resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and EFPIA. PREPARE is funded by the European Union’s FP7 Programme n° 602525. ECRAID is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme n° 825715.

Susanna Naggie receives IDSA’s Oswald Avery Award for Early Achievement

October 6, 2018 – The award, which recognizes infectious disease specialists under the age of 45, will be presented at ID Week in San Francisco.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has presented its 2018 Oswald Avery Award for Early Achievement to the DCRI’s Susanna Naggie, MD, MHS, for her novel research on the treatment of patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV).

The award, which will be formally presented at ID Week 2018 in San Francisco, recognizes members or fellows of IDSA age 45 or younger who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in an area of infectious diseases.

“I was very surprised because I had no idea I’d been nominated,” Naggie said. “When I learned that two of my colleagues from outside of Duke nominated me, it meant a lot to know they found my work meaningful. As investigators we hope that our work is impactful and ultimately translates to improved health of our patients.”

Naggie’s research focuses on the mechanisms of accelerated liver fibrogenesis in HIV/HCV-infected patients. Her work has helped define the role of pharmacogenomics and mechanistic studies of HCV treatment response in these patients, including studies of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in HCV therapy and associated liver disease.

Her group was the first to report that black patients who carried the favorable CC genotype had more immune dysregulation than non-black patients without the favorable genotype. This research has laid an important foundation for understanding the disparity in HCV treatment response in co-infected African Americans.

“I have had fantastic mentorship at Duke and in the DCRI as well as externally,” Naggie said. “[Former Gastroenterology director] John McHutchison and Shyam Kottilil enabled me to get exposure that laid the groundwork for the work that we accomplished early on and the work that is ongoing. Many others have given me opportunities, for which I am very appreciative.”

Currently an associate professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, where she has been a member of the faculty since 2009, Naggie is medical director of the Department of Medicine’s Clinical Research Unit and director of infectious diseases research at the DCRI. In addition to her own research, she has served as the primary mentor for many trainees, including interns, residents, fellows, and junior faculty.

Naggie has served as a member and co-chair of the IDSA and American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases HCV guidance panel, as a member of the Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents, and as a member or leader of several other notable national committees and groups. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Naggie completed her internship, residency, chief residency, and ID fellowship training at Duke, where she also earned a master of health sciences degree in clinical research.