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O’Neill commission’s recommendation to create $2 billion global fund to tackle antibiotic resistance

Jim O’Neills Review on Antimicrobial Resistance launches their third interim report. Amongst the report’s recommendations is the creation of a $2 billion global fund to be spent over five years to assist organisations pay for their R&D on developing new antibiotics. Grants will be awarded from this fund, which will delink the reward side of antibiotic drug development from sales and should incentivise organisations to get back into the antibiotic development space. Global fund monies will be used to finance blue skies research into new antibiotics and diagnostics and encourage innovative partnerships at early development stages between academia and industry.

Antibiotic Research UK, the world’s first charity created to develop new antibiotics welcomes this latest O’Neill report and endorses whole-heartedly its recommendations. One of the problems in the field is that there has been a lack of money to finance antibiotic drug development, and was one of the reasons for the charity’s formation.  Professor Colin Garner, the charity’s Chief Executive says ‘the creation of a new global fund with substantial resource will kick-start antibiotic drug development. However the problem lies not only in funding but also a lack of new ideas. Our charity, with some of the UK’s top researchers in antibiotic resistance behind us, aims to develop its first new antibiotic therapy by 2020. To do this requires funding. I hope very much that some of the monies from the new global fund will flow through to us so we can speed up our research programme on Antibiotic Resistance Breakers’.

Antibiotic Research UK is funded by public donation and hopes to replace the hole left by many of the big pharmaceutical companies who have withdrawn from antibiotic drug development. The charity needs to raise up to £30 million, through a combination of traditional fundraising, corporate sponsorship, trusts and foundations as well as newer fundraising methods such as crowd funding over the next five years.

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