Call for action on antimicrobial resistance

21 August 2013

International leaders from the pharmaceutical industry, academia, SMEs and the healthcare sector met in May to look at why we are no closer to defusing the antibiotic resistance “ticking-time bomb” than we were a decade ago.

The report of this meeting [1] 1. makes it clear that the research and development landscape must change, that the time for action is now and that numerous new collaborative cross sector research programmes are required. To achieve these significant additional funding across the globe is required.

Progress will be quicker if the academic, biotechnology research and industry establish mechanisms to collaborate within a precompetitive space. There is a role for national funding agencies in this process, but proper due diligence of the proposed research must be carried out by experts in the field.

Professor Laura Piddock, Director of Antibiotic Action said, “We need to be inventive and innovative in addressing a problem of this magnitude. The solutions are complex but achievable if we can learn from what has gone before. We must identify ways for groups to work together in precompetitive space or under open innovation principles and also move quickly to more ambitious solutions, such as entirely public sector-led initiatives. One thing is clear, we cannot stand still”. Her words resonate loudly with The Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council and BBSRC, all of whom supported the meeting.

Further information

1. The Antibiotic Action report: Lessons to be learnt from Pharma about discovery and development of new antibacterial drugs


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