Project Description

Biomérieux website


In more than 150 countries through 41 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors, bioMérieux provides diagnostic solutions that improve patient health and ensure consumer safety.

Aims and challenges

Over the past century, the advent and use of antibiotic treatments have revolutionized our ability to fight infectious diseases. As a result, death rates from most infectious diseases have decreased considerably. However, antibiotics have been overused, resulting in the worldwide spread of highly resistant bacterial clones.

In order to counter this increased bacterial resistance, we need a paradigm shift in the way that we deliver healthcare: novel ways to prevent infections, innovative diagnostics, and recourse to antibiotics only when necessary. The application of personalized medicine in infectious diseases, based on new, rapid and reliable diagnostic strategies, should help to achieve this shift.

In 2012, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) launched a major program called New Drugs for Bad Bugs (ND4BB), aimed at addressing the challenge of antimicrobial resistance. A specific project, Drive-AB, aims to identify new business models that achieve a balance between the conservation of antibiotics (rational use) and the necessary business conditions for continued investment in antibiotics.

With the IMI opening up to non-pharmaceutical sectors, the organization and its ND4BB program would provide an ideal framework for diagnostic companies and pharmaceutical companies to join forces to develop a vision of how diagnostics could help to avoid future generations being confronted with untreatable infections as a result of resistant bacteria (Drive-Dx project).

The desired result is to develop meaningful and long-term public health policies that encourage the sustainable development of diagnostics, which in turn would have an impact on the development and stewardship of antibiotics. The project represents an attempt to develop new forms of collaboration between the public and private sectors, addressing the need to tackle the use of diagnostic tools in a responsible and sustainable way.

An IMI-based approach could ensure that all of the various inputs are collated and summarized. The project should demonstrate the feasibility of any new approach via an impact assessment and an implementation plan submitted to policy-makers. The involvement of various stakeholders is essential in order to ensure the successful development and implementation of this public-private partnership.

bioMérieux has been contacted by the EFPIA to lead the Drive-Dx initiative, along with the interested diagnostic companies. Such an initiative represents an opportunity for the diagnostics industry.

Role of Ahimsa Partners

  • Identify interested stakeholders and meet them to present the project.
  • Organize a workshop on December 7 at “Les Pensières” conference center in Annecy.
  • Set up the publication of an IMI call for proposals supported by the EU.

The overall objectives of Drive-Dx will be to:

1.            Create an environment that facilitates the development of novel diagnostic tools, to enable a more rational, reduced and targeted approach to antibiotic use,

2.            Develop and implement new and innovative evaluation techniques to demonstrate the medical value of diagnostic tools capable of having an impact on antimicrobial resistance,

3.            Develop new economic models to incentivize the discovery, development and use of new diagnostic tools, now and in the future,

4.            Understand the hurdles and educate stakeholders on the importance of the use of diagnostics.


We succeeded to create an industry consortium with 7 major diagnostics companies and The Wellcome Trust to advocate on the value of diagnistic to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The objective of this consortium is to understand, demonstrate, and quantify the value of diagnostics and the obstacles to their adoption and use in the framework of a Standardised Care Network in order to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by optimising antibiotic use in Europe.


Dear Jean-François,
Thank you for your hard work to deliver this proposal to IMI.  You played a key role bringing the group together. Your diplomacy and drive are very much appreciated.

Tim Jinks, Strategy Development Lead  – The Wellcome Trust

Dear Jean-Francois,
The project could not have happened without you.
Thank you for everything.

Mark Miller, Corporate VP, Medical Affairs, Chief Medical Officer – bioMerieux

Cher Jean-Francois,
Je pense que tu pourrais encore jouer un rôle important comme ‘facilitator’ dans les prochaines étapes voir la durée du projet.
C’était un vrai plaisir de travailler avec toi, et je suis certaine que ce n’était pas la dernière fois.
Je te souhaite beaucoup de bien et bonne chance pour tes autres projets intéressants !

Angela Wittelsberger,  Scientific Officer, Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)

Hi Jean Francois,
Thanks for all your hard work during the preparation of this call. It has been a pleasure working with you and I hope we can continue to interact.

Jorge Villacian, Chief Medical Officer at Janssen Diagnostics, Pharmaceutical R&D, Johnson & Johnson

Hello Jean Francois,
Thank you very very much for all you did for this project. It is always a pleasure working with you.
Giovanni Magni, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer – Bio-Rad Laboratories, USA

Hi Jean François,
Thanks for your great contribution to the Project and for setting it on the way.
Let´s take it all of us now to the next steps.
Joan Martin, Executive Vice-President and Head of EMEA

Dear Jean-François,
I would like to thank you warmly for your commitment in this project. I hope to keep contact with you in the future.

Manette Juvin, Clinical Diagnostic Group, Marketing Manager, Bacteriology  Business Unit – Infectious Disease Division – Bio-Rad

Dear Jean-Francois,
Thank you for all your efforts in driving this project to our current point. It has been a pleasure to work with you.

Kieran Clarke, Global Product Director, Pneumonia, CRP, Alere™ Reader and Antimicrobial Stewardship, Infectious Disease Global Business Unit – Alere

Morning Jean-Francois,
Many thanks for your great support in driving this initiative forward.
Looking forward to further build upon the foundation you helped creating.

Diederik Engbersen, Head of Marketing EMEA, Accelerate Diagnostics

Dear Jean-François,
Thank you for your support and commitment and being so instrumental in driving this project forward.
Yossi Sammy, Europe DS Medical Affairs Director – BD

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