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Charity forms to tackle resistance to antibiotics

Antibiotic Research UK hopes to develop new drug in dive years
antibiotic research uk

A new UK organisation claims it is the world's first charity to tackle the growing public health threat of resistance to antibiotics.

York-based Antibiotic Research UK, or ANTRUK for short, was formed by members of the research network Antibiotic Discovery UK, including experts from 14 of the country's top universities and 14 biotech companies.

It aims to raise around £30m over the next five to seven years in order to bring at least one new antibiotic therapy to market.

New antibiotics are desperately needed as overuse of current treatments has led to growing resistance in infectious diseases.

However, despite this need, few drug development companies have committed to research new treatments, due primarily to the poor return on investment offered by the drugs.

The urgency has inspired national governments to implement measures to improve the research environment for companies, including new FDA incentives and a UK review to better understand how to support drug development.

ANTRUK is now the latest example of the growing realisation that tackling antimicrobial resistance has huge implications for global public health.

According to the charity, as antibiotics become ineffective many major surgeries will become impossible and new hips, knees, organ transplantation and many cancer treatments will become high risk.

The money raised will fund five scientific programmes identified by the charity's scientific and technical panel. The public will then decide which project to donate to.

According to ANTRUK, this method of funding “provides a direct link between public donors and the projects they are supporting”.

Prof Colin Garner, the chief executive of ANTRUK, added “The UK's charity sector has been extremely successful in raising funds for medical research and we hope to tap into this success; if we don't tackle the problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria now then the consequences will be far, far worse than the current Ebola outbreak.”

Article by
Thomas Meek

17th October 2014

From: Research, Marketing, Healthcare

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