A host of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies will join forces alongside public research organisations and scientific experts to address the rising threat from antibiotic resistance.
Companies including GSK, AstraZeneca, Janssen and Sanofi will partner in a new £180 million research programme to boost the discovery and development of new antibiotics.
Patrick Vallance, President, Pharmaceuticals R&D at GSK said the agreement “signals a new model of collaboration” to develop treatments to tackle infections such as MRSA.
NewDrugs4BadBugs is supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) – who will jointly fund the first project with contributions from the pharma and biotech companies involved.
The objective of the collaboration is to improve the underlying scientific understanding of antibiotic resistance and design and implement clinical trials that see novel drug candidates clinically developed.
Currently, the WHO describes the pipeline of future antibiotics to counter emerging resistant bacteria as “virtually dry”.
Antibiotic resistance is increasingly becoming a worldwide health threat with new ‘superbugs’ evolving around the globe.
However, despite the urgent need for effective counteraction, research has diminished over the past 15 years with few companies remaining active in this area due to difficulties in finding new agents and regulatory complexities.
Martin Mackay, President, R&D, at AstraZeneca commented: “It is time to tackle this issue in a different way, sharing information and expertise among public and private partners – collaboration of this type is critical if we are to speed up the discovery of these medicines to improve patient health.”
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