Antibiotic Research UK - We aim to find cost effective approaches to finding new drugs against superbugs

Antibiotic Research UK’s research programmes

Chris Garner Uncategorised Leave a Comment

Our charity aims to take highly innovative and cost- effective approaches to finding new drugs against superbugs. The research programmes will be undertaken in the UK’s universities, institutes and specialty pharmaceutical companies and will focus for the next few years on fi nding drugs which are ‘antibiotic resistance breakers’ (ARBs). ARBs might be drugs used to treat other medical conditions which when given together with an existing antibiotic overcome the resistance.

Finding ARBs will require test tube experiments against antibiotic resistant bacteria. There are many potential bacterial classes to target but the charity will focus its early research programmes on a group of bacteria called Gram-negatives. This is the class with the potential to become the greatest threat to hospital medicine. Gram-negative bacteria cause infections including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis in hospitals. Gram-negative bacteria are resistant to multiple drugs and are increasingly resistant to most available antibiotics.

Our charity aims to take highly innovative and cost-effective approaches to finding new drugs against superbugs.Mr. WordPress

Antibiotic Research UK - Our charity aims to take a highly innovative and cost-effective approaches to finding new drugs against superbugs

All of the charity’s research will be overseen by a group of experts who sit on the Science and Technical Advisory Committee. They will be responsible for setting and monitoring the charity’s research milestones and objectives.

Antibiotic Research UK is managed by the Trustees who are elected by the members. The Trustees comprise:


Antibiotic Research UK’s people

Antibiotic Research UK - Organisation and People

The charity’s research programmes are overseen by the Science and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) consisting of :
Professor Anthony Coates (Chair), Professor Colin Garner, Professor Chris Dowson, Dr Lloyd Czaplewski (Persica Pharmaceuticals), Dr David Brown, Dr David Roper (Warwick University), Professor Mark Moloney (Oxford University) and Dr Tim Tasker (Heptares Pharmaceuticals).

Who are Antibiotic Research UK?


Antibiotic Research UK is the world’s fi rst charity to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistant infection. We aim to develop one new antibiotic therapy by 2020 with further antibiotics being introduced over the next decade. To reach our goals we need to raise £30 million over the next 5-7 years.
Antibiotic Research UK has the support of some of the United Kingdom’s leading scientific and clinical experts in antibiotic resistance, drawn from 14 of the country’s top universities and 12 small pharmaceutical or support companies 1.

1 Universities involved; Aston, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Kings College London, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Southampton, St Georges London, Strathclyde, Warwick, York. Companies involved; Chemical Biology Ventures, Euprotec, Evotech, Garner Consulting, John Innes Research Centre, Novacta Biosystems, P A Consulting, Pharmabioquintet, Redex Pharma, Sealife Pharma, Selcia, Transcrip Partners.


What is antibiotic resistance and why is it important?

The problem of antibiotic resistance (superbugs) has been highlighted by the World Health Organisation, the UK Prime Minister, the President of the USA, the UK Chief Medical Officer and Jim O’Neill, chair of The Review of Antimicrobial Resistance. David Cameron talked about medicine going back to the ‘dark ages’ if we don’t tackle this impending health disaster.

Antibiotic Research UK is a registered charity and is uniquely placed to develop new therapies which would be made available to all affected by antibiotic resistant infections throughout the world.

The human body contains trillions of bacteria. These live in our gut, on our skin and in our nose and mouth. Many of these bacteria are useful such as in the digestion of food. Sometimes though these bacteria can enter our blood stream and grow and divide unchecked – we call this process an infection.
Here are a few medical conditions that depend on antibiotics for their treatment;

  • bowel cancer surgery 
  • breast cancer surgery 
  • leukaemia and lymphoma treatment 
  • caesarean sections 
  • organ transplants
  • intensive care treatment after a major accident
  • hip and knee replacements

When we get a bacterial infection, most times the body can fi ght it off. Sometimes though the infection gets worse and this is when we are given an antibiotic.

Around 20% of patients do not respond to the fi rst antibiotic they are given. They are therefore given another antibiotic which usually is effective. In some cases, none of the antibiotics given are effective; the bacteria are resistant to all known antibiotic treatments and the patient can die.
The incidence of antibiotic resistance is rising year on year. The problem is being made worse as very few new antibiotics have been developed over the past 30 years.