$155 million for drug development to fight deadly superbugs: CARB-X

Antibiotics have been a vital part of modern
medicine for over 70 years. But overuse and inappropriate use in humans
and animals has led to dangerous bacteria developing deadly resistance. Drug-resistant infections – often called
superbugs – which can’t be treated with the medicines we have today are one of the
world’s most urgent health problems. And without action this number will continue
to rise rapidly. Previously treatable infections and routine
surgery, such as hip replacements and caesareans, will be potentially fatal. The last new class of antibiotics was developed
in the 1980’s. Of even greater concern, we have not seen
a new class of antibiotics to treat the dangerous, Gram-negative bacteria, since 1962. The Wellcome Trust is committed to supporting
scientists to work together with industry, governments and civil society to tackle this
rapidly rising problem. New treatments are a priority. We need new antibiotics and innovative treatments;
we need new diagnostics and we need new vaccines to prevent the spread of deadly infections. Through the CARB-X Biopharmaceutical Accelerator,
promising research in all these areas is now being supported. Public-private partnerships, like CARB-X,
are vital to reinvigorate research and discovery. Drug discovery must work hand-in-hand with
actions to ensure that antibiotics are available to all patients who need them – in all countries
– and are used appropriately. Enabling responsible use and equitable access
are conditions of CARB-X funding. We need to ensure that antibiotics, existing
and new, are treated as a valuable resource and are used only for protecting
and improving health. Global recognition of this urgent health threat
has grown. However, we need to see more investment, more
action and greater urgency. Wellcome is working with governments, industry
and global health leaders to ensure concerted and coordinated action. Our goal is a world where excellent prevention
and diagnosis delays drug-resistance developing, and where there’s a pipeline of new treatments
that are used appropriately and available to all patients who need them.

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