Will focus on finding drugs that can break antibiotic resistance
Professor Colin Garner: 'We need the public to help us fund this programme which we anticipate will start in early 2016'
Antibiotic Research UK has announced its first research programme to tackle antibiotic resistant bacteria (superbugs).
Initially announced last October when Antibiotic Research UK was set up, the research programme, which requires the charity to raise £120,000, will focus on an under-researched area of finding drugs that can break antibiotic resistance, thereby allowing the life of current antibiotics to be extended. Around 2,000 existing drugs used to treat any disease will be tested as 'antibiotic-resistance breakers'.
Professor Colin Garner, Chief Executive of Antibiotic Research UK, said: 'This is an exciting opportunity to look at drugs such as those used for heart disease, arthritis, psychiatric disorders, etc, to see if they, when put together with an antibiotic, can kill superbugs. The advantage of the approach is that it is faster and cheaper than trying to find a new antibiotic from scratch. We need the public to help us fund this programme which we anticipate will start in early 2016.'
The charity, with some of the UK’s top antibiotic resistance researchers behind it, aims to develop its first new antibiotic therapy by the early 2020s. It hopes to help in filling the hole left by many of the big pharmaceutical companies who have withdrawn from antibiotic drug development.
The charity aims to raise up to £30m over the next 5–7 years, through a combination of traditional fundraising, corporate sponsorship, donations by trusts and foundations, as well as newer fundraising methods such as crowd funding.