Billion dollar pharma investment – our view

Peter Gibson ANTRUK announcements

The UK’s special envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance, Dame Sally Davies, has told the Financial Times that a fund to create 15-20 new antibiotics is “a good start by the pharma industry to make up for their past disinvestment in antibiotics”.

Our charity, the only one in the UK solely dedicated to finding new treatments to solve the problem of antibiotic resistant infections, also welcomes the $1 billion investment – but recognises that much more needs to be done to combat the World’s biggest health problem.

Antibiotic Research UK is an emerging charity with limited funds, but our small grants fund has helped boost innovation. And as Sheffield Children’s Hospital have just acknowledged, gaining that first tranche of funding is what is really required to stimulate innovation.

The intervention of pharmaceutical companies, albeit welcome, does not mean that the problem is solved.

Without much more substantial investment in basic science at a similar scale to the new pharma fund (at least $1billion) to underpin the search for new antibiotics there is little chance of finding new mechanism-based treatments.

Continuing to raise awareness of antibiotic resistant infections, supporting patients living with drug-resistant conditions and giving innovative minds the wherewithal to research new antibiotics is still pivotal.

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