NHSA brings North experts to $350m global partnership to tackle antibiotic crisis

NORTH Experts are to play an important part in fighting the global antibiotic resistance (AMR) crisis as members of a US led $350m global initiative.

28th July 2016

The Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) is a strategic partner of the newly formed AMR Centre based at Alderley Park. The AMR Centre, working with the Wellcome Trust have become partners in a US led initiative which will see a $350m investment made to tackle the growing health crisis around antibiotic resistance.

In partnership with the AMR Centre the NHSA will be able to harness the expertise of scientists from across the North including centres such as the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the Florey Institute at The University of Sheffield, the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Infection and Global Health, the Institute of Clinical Sciences at the University of Leeds and Newcastle University’s Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology.

Dr Hakim Yadi, CEO of the NHSA said: “AMR claims 25,000 lives a year and fatality rates are expected to rise significantly over the next decade.

“It is essential that this issue is tackled urgently and we’re delighted that the expertise available in the North through its fantastic health science system is going to be used to combat this global problem.”

The US-led Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) is a public-private partnership tasked with tackling the scientific and commercial problems posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

A recent review for the UK government led by leading economist Lord O’Neill stated AMR could be responsible for 10 million extra deaths globally each year by 2050 – more than currently claimed by cancer.

CARB-X brings together international partners to establish and manage a portfolio of potential antibiotics in preclinical stages, so that they merit private or public investment to advance to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and/or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency of the United Kingdom.

The Biomedical Advanced Research Authority (BARDA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is to provide $30 million in grants to CARB-X during the first year and up to $250 million over five years.

The AMR Centre is expected to receive up to $14 million in matched funding from CARB-X in year one – and $100 million in total over the next five years. The combination of its own resources and the contributions from CARB-X means that in the AMR centre expects to be able to focus $200 million on a range of R&D projects. These financial resources will be used to help small and medium sized businesses progress their R&D projects into clinical trials.

The Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation focused on biomedical research, will also contribute funding, along with its expertise in overseeing projects of this kind.

Dr Peter Jackson, steering group chairman of the AMR Centre commented: “CARB-X is one of the most important steps yet in terms of rethinking how we deal with AMR and it will have an impact around the world.

“At the AMR Centre we share the same goal of accelerating a new pipeline of treatments and diagnostics by working on new drug development programs in our own labs as well as with other collaborating organisations, in particular providing support to small and medium-sized businesses and research institutes which have exciting new approaches to AMR.”

Companies interested in partnering can visit the CARB-X page on MedicalCountermeasures.gov for more information.

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