Maarten van Dongen, MSc in Medical and Molecular Microbiology and PhD in Biochemistry, has built up ample experience in drug development within both the pharma and biopharma industry in The Netherlands, Finland and Belgium. As the managing partner of InnoTact Consulting, a Netherlands based dedicated Life Sciences consulting firm focusing on innovation and on the translation of Life Sciences research into marketable products, he got gradually involved in the domain of Antimicrobial resistance (AMR). At the request of several Dutch authorities and governmental organizations he coordinated some large research and evaluation projects related to AMR. In 2015 the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports requested him to set up a national public-private collaborative structure for the research and development of novel antibiotics. This has resulted in ‘National Antibiotics Development Platform’ or NADP. The NADP facilitates the collaboration between public and private organizations, to enhance the development of new antibiotics and alternative therapies for infectious diseases in humans and animals. In 2016 Maarten van Dongen convinced 12 Netherlands public and private organizations to jointly investigate the technical and economic feasibility of a novel, professional cross-sector knowledge and information platform entirely focused on AMR. Following an unequivocal ‘GO’ by the involved 12 organizations in 2017 Maarten took the initiative to start the development of the first phase of AMR Insights (see below). He is now known as AMR expert and involved in several AMR-related initiatives including training courses, workshops and symposia and the biweekly ‘AMR Insights’.
AMR Insights provides the most insightful knowledge platform for professionals who wish to eradicate Antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The platform contains a continuously growing number of AMR-related scientific, business and societal posts. In addition AMR Insights provides:
1. The biweekly update on global AMR-related research news and developments. The update is currently sent to 3,000 + professionals within and outside Europe. New subscribers are added to the mailing list at a daily basis.
2. Education related to AMR and to novel antibiotics development: both the open Basic course AMR and the Masterclass AMR and a growing number of in-company training courses.
3. A dedicated, annual AMR symposium (in 2018 on 14 November; during the World Antibiotics Awareness Week). At this symposium the research and development of novel antimicrobials will obtain substantial attention.
4. Round tables, fora and SPECIAL newsletters dedicated to specific themes within AMR. The themes are selected in close coordination with involved public and private partners. Examples of such themes are: the role of vaccines in fighting AMR, the use of big data in AMR surveillance, standardization in AMR diagnostics etc.
5. ‘Innovation pages’ where research groups and SME’s will be able to post their promising technologies, novel diagnostics, lead compounds (to be further set up in Q3, 2018)
6. ‘Expert pages’ with leading (research) experts in the domain of AMR (development; discussions with GARDP ongoing to join forces; to be further set up in Q3, 2018).
The AMR Insights platform has been set up and is explicitly meant and prepared to host an interactive information exchange module to effectively communicate and exchange knowledge and information and increasingly collaborate to add to the global fight against AMR.
AMR Insights expects over 8.000 visitors in the very first year 2018. The website is being further developed at a continuous basis. Special subsections will be made for 6 AMR-related topics, including the category ‘Antimicrobial products’.
Maarten van Dongen will contribute to the network by making available the platform AMR Insights with the aims to:
A. Provide targeted European and global exposure to (the partners and results obtained by) the transnational network
B. Organize and supervise the effective communication and exchange of information and data between the involved network partners
C. Add to the effective dissemination of generated knowledge.
More concrete the platform AMR Insights will:
1. Post all relevant developments of the new transnational network
2. Inform the growing number of subscribers (from within and outside Europe) in the biweekly update on network-related breakthroughs, lead compounds, novel antibiotics, novel collaborations etc.
3. Arrange for a separate section of the annual AMR symposium which is focused on novel antimicrobial (lead) compounds resulting from the transnational network
4. Post novel technologies and antimicrobial (lead) compounds resulting from the transnational network on the ‘Innovation pages’
5. Mention the experts of the transnational network on the ‘Expert pages’.
6. Provide and host an efficient, targeted communication system to share and exchange of scientific research data, translational knowledge and expert advice.