The Universities of Oxford, Ulster and UCL have announced a cross-disciplinary team to tackle the growing challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).
The team, funded by EPSRC and the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), will spend the next five years developing new technology to improve both the diagnosis and treatment of bacterial infections.
The initiative has been named “Beyond Antibiotics” and bring together researchers from across the Physical and Life Sciences.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified AMR as “one of the greatest threats we face as a global community” and estimates that drug-resistant infections could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050.
While advances in understanding the biological mechanisms of AMR have been made, there is an urgent need to develop better diagnostics and alternative treatment options
Professor Eleanor Stride, the statutory Professor of Biomaterials at the University of Oxford will lead the collaboration.
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Professor Stride explained that ‘despite tremendous advances in understanding the biological mechanisms of AMR, there is an urgent need to develop better diagnostics and alternative treatment options.
‘Our aim is to complement ongoing efforts in drug discovery and microbiology with an equal contribution from the Engineering and Physical Sciences to meet this need.’
The programme hopes to provide a set of commercially viable and effective technologies including —
Prototype screening platform to enable testing of new therapies.
Prototype diagnostic devices for both medical and agricultural use (to reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics)
Pre-clinical data on the efficacy of new therapies in critical infections.
The team hopes to collaborate closely with clinicians specialising in infections representing the highest use of antibiotics.
It will be supported by partners from the pharmaceutical, medical device and agricultural industries, and public health agencies.