MANHATTAN, KS –March 8, 2021 – Orion Integrated Biosciences part of a transnational consortium Seq4AMR Consortium that received funding to Integrate Microbial Sequencing Platforms for Antimicrobial Resistance.
Notwithstanding the current COVID-19 pandemic, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is perhaps the most pressing long-term global health issue related to infectious disease control and mitigation. AMR is the microbes’ ability – bacteria, viruses, and fungi – to change over time and become resistant to existing drugs and therapeutics, rendering them ineffective. The importance and scale of the problem are significant and continue to increase worldwide.
Globally, AMR causes 700,000 people to die annually, and in the US alone, there are an estimated 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections, which result in 35,000 deaths. The CDC has estimated that a subset of AMR infections’ economic impact caused at least $2.8 billion in medical costs. Contributing to AMR’s importance, not only are current drugs becoming ineffective, but the discovery of new antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs has slowed. Moreover, AMR is not just an issue of human health. Still, antibiotics in animal food production and discarded antibiotics’ environmental fate also increase AMR’s probability.
The Seq4AMR Consortium directors are Dr. John P. Hays (Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands) and Prof. Erik Kristiansson (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden). The consortium includes 11 other prominent international One Health researchers, including Orion’s CEO, Willy Valdivia-Granda.
The Seq4AMR project will contribute to developing, integrating, and utilizing cutting-edge genomics research methodologies to identify, characterize, and monitor the emergence and spread of AMR genes. In this respect, Seq4AMR aims to provide guidelines that integrate next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, advanced bioinformatics, algorithm development, and the creation of AMR-specific gene sequence databases. Additionally, the consortium will promote awareness, open science, and data-sharing within the broader scientific community. Finally, Seq4AMR will build AMR research capabilities through training and teaching courses; and encourage capacity building between public and business AMR stakeholders.
As the only US-based company included in the project, Willy Valdivia said that “Orion Integrated Biosciences will contribute with this international effort with our global biosurveillance technology and the motif fingerprint analysis system that can discriminate from genomic information specific AMR profiles.”
Dr. John P. Hays indicated that “The Seq4AMR network will generate new AMR-based synergies to identify sequence-based knowledge gaps, develop knowledge gap solutions and provide recommendations for use in the detection and prevention of global antimicrobial resistance.”
Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance – is a global collaborative organization and platform engaging 28 nations to curb antimicrobial resistance (AMR) with a One Health Approach. For more information, visit https://www.jpiamr.eu/seq4amr/
About Orion Integrated Biosciences
Orion Integrated Biosciences – is a biodefense company with a mission to solve health, trade, and security challenges by applying multidisciplinary expertise in bioinformatics, microbiology, and artificial intelligence. It was founded in 2005 and headquartered in Kansas. For more information, visit https://www.orionbio.com/