GARDP – Project Assistant, Transversal Programmes

Geneva, Switzerland
[Closing date: 23 October 2016]

Background

WHO and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative have collaborated over the past two years on the creation of a Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership, a not for profit research and development organization, to develop new antibiotic treatments addressing antimicrobial resistance and to promote their responsible use for optimal conservation, while ensuring equitable access for all. DNDi has agreed to facilitate the set up and hosting of the partnership and provide the scientific environment, necessary personnel and infrastructure to ensure an effective incubation period. GARDP will work closely with all stakeholders in the field of antibiotic research and development (R&D) – including pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, startups, other product development partnerships, academia, civil society, and health authorities – from countries of all income levels to develop new antibiotic treatments, with the aim of becoming an independent organization within a period of two years. Ultimately, GARDP will:

  • address global public health, with a particular awareness for needs of low- and middle-income countries, targeting products that industry will not develop due to lack of profitability;
  • pilot the use of alternative incentive models that support conservation of and access to new antibiotics based on DNDi’s experience in implementing alternative R&D models for neglected diseases;
  • ensure that new antibiotics are affordable to all.

 

The transversal projects

Drug Combination Platform: Establish a screening and in vivo drug development platform to optimize combinations of existing and/or new antibiotics, as well as non antibiotic substances for GARDP priority R&D projects, including Nesseria gonorrhoea, Klebsiella, and Acinetobacter. The platform will identify effective combinations, investigate their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties and efficacy in vivo, and the most suitable formulations (i.e. FDCs, oral, etc.). It also seeks to engage clinicians and ethical committees to gain support in participation in ensuing clinical trials. It will also explore the impact of such combinations on maintaining/protecting the microbiome, for example through use of narrow spectrum drug combinations or adjusted dosing regimens, with a view to reducing risk of further development of resistance. Ultimately, this work will help to potentially restore effectiveness and prolong the usefulness of existing antibiotics (i.e. delay resistance).

Antimicrobial Memory Recovery Initiative: With the disengagement from antibiotic R&D of the large pharmaceutical actors, much of the knowledge and material resources that were part of the ‘golden era’ of antibiotic drug discovery and development, which has tapered dramatically since the 1950s, have been forsaken. Many of the pioneers and excellent scientists that drove the R&D engine in those companies are now reaching or have already reached the age of retirement, and some companies have closed down or ceased anti-infective activities making the molecule libraries and the data linked to them, increasingly harder to trace back. AMRI aims to recover the knowledge, contacts, data, and assets of forgotten, abandoned, or withdrawn antibiotics as a ‘bridging’ measure, while the search for new classes of antibiotics is being pursued and while hopefully a new generation of researchers in antibiotic R&D is stimulated and rebuilt. It aims to build a database of experts, develop teaching materials, and generate ‘hits’ for GARDP’s priority disease projects.

Both of the above projects are not only linked to one another but especially to the disease specific projects undertaken by GARDP. They require thus an integrated transversal approach to their management.

 

Responsibilities

Contribute to the set up and implementation of the AMRi project and Combination Platform, including:

  1. Help set up and manage of databases;
  2. Conduct literature research and analyse specific scientific questions/issues emanating from this research;
  3. Set up and maintain publications on Mendeley;
  4. Conduct literature, patents and online databases review to build up a list of key individuals/experts on AMR and antibiotics R&D;
  5. Contribute directly to all work packages – notably by developing and disseminating questionnaires concerning experts and analysing results; supporting the Head of Transversal Programmes in carrying out the set-up of a platform, etc.
  6. Draft meeting minutes and reports where necessary;
  7. Provide project updates and help in budget building;
  8. Maintain Gantt charts;
  9. Support in various logistics tasks, such as meeting organizations.

 

Competences/diplomas

  • Fluent in English
  • Advanced degree in relevant field (e.g. microbiology or related field)
  • Excellent written English – experience in scientific writing
  • IT skills: statistical analysis; bioinformatics tools; search in scientific literature; Microsoft office applications, especially Microsoft Project, Excel, Word, Outlook and Powerpoint; online survey tools; bibliography softwares, e.g. Mendeley; Endnote; GANTT chart experience a must
  • Good team worker but also ability to work autonomously; proactive; rigourous
  • Open-minded and interested in acquiring new competences and knowledge.

 

The Project Assistant reports to the Head of Transversal Programmes, and works closely with the growing GARDP team.

 

Location and travel

The position is based in Geneva.

This is a new 1.0 FTE contract position from 1 December 2016.

 

To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until October 23rd, 2016.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.