A one-day workshop was held on January 16 in London at Chatham House. 11 European SMEs (all members of BEAM) and the UK Antimicrobial Resistance Centre were represented to discuss and to express their views on DRIVE-AB’s research on models/incentives. In preparing and refining a selection of incentives, the DRIVE-AB consortium views the engagement of key stakeholders such as SMEs operating in antibiotic Research and Development (R&D) as particularly important. The purpose of this meeting was to receive feedback from the invited SME representatives on two main aspects of the proposed economic models and incentives:
- their overall structure and combination across the antibiotic R&D pipeline; and
- the details of single specific models/incentives.
The lively discussions reached from topics such as existing funding sources like CARB-X, EIB and Innofin to the idea of options with equity financing vs grants. In general, SMEs would benefit from risk-sharing tools and improved funding for early phases of development. Exit options and milestone payments are important for SMEs as many of them don’t see their role to advance a new drug to the market.