The AMR Challenge is a federal prize competition funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), with each agency contributing $10 million. Up to three winners will be chosen in July 2020 and split at least $19 million, subject to the availability of funds. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a rising public health threat and cause at least 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drug resistance can also erode the effectiveness of drugs provided as part of a medical response to bioterrorism, such as an anthrax attack.
The initiative has now announced five finalists, all from the US. Each of them will receive US$100,000 to further develop their prototypes and supply them for testing to independent laboratories.