Call for $2bn global antibiotic research fund

May 14, 2015

By Fergus Walsh

The global pharmaceutical industry is being called on to pay for a $2bn (£1.3bn) innovation fund to revitalise research into antibiotics.

In return, there would be guaranteed payments to companies which produced vitally needed new antibiotics.

There are currently very few new antibiotics in development amid a global spread of resistant bacteria.

The proposals are in a report by a UK government-appointed review team headed by economist Jim O’Neill.

Mr O’Neill said: “We need to kick-start drug development to make sure the world has the drugs it needs, to treat infections and to enable modern medicine and surgery to continues as we know it.”

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4 comments on “Call for $2bn global antibiotic research fund

  • The problem with antibiotics is they have a quite limited life before their targets evolve immunity.

    What could correct that?

    Drugs where variants get cranked out slightly different for every dose.
    antibiotic cocktails of 5+ drugs.
    delivery by implant so you have to finish your course.
    routine testing at the end of a course to make sure the strain was wiped out.
    DNA testing to predict allergies.
    controls on frivolous use of new antibiotics.

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  • controls on frivolous use of new antibiotics.

    An education campaign to stop people buying routine day to day products that kill 99.99% of germs. This is how we created multi-drug resistant staphylococcus on hospital walls. Never use an antibacterial unless there is some need to protect a vulnerable person, like a baby, or an immune challenged person. And don’t even use it on baby stuff because most of that can be sterilized in a steamer.

    Our local children’s hospital now washes intensive care cribs with soap and water, then puts them in the sun on the roof for a day to prevent a boot camp training regime for new bacteria.

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  • I went through the news source to eventually see what’s the relevance of “only” 2Bn.

    A global innovation fund of $2bn over five years would be used to boost funding for “blue-sky” research into drugs and diagnostics – with much of the money going to universities and small biotech companies.

    First of all, it’s $2Bn over 5 years, which does not look like a huge amount of money considering how much the Bank of England printed in recent years to prop up other industries.
    It does look like there is a timid recognition that large pharmaceutical companies are ill-equipped to take on the initial research on new antibiotics and prefer to snap up on the market the companies that eventually make a breakthrough.

    If it is recognised that taxpayer money needs to push companies to do basic research, why not have the public sector handle that process end-to-end and have direct returns to the taxpayer, rather than with the overheads of this current approach?
    Just last week the conservative party won the general election, it may be that a LOT of people in the UK like the idea of a public sector helping companies instead of helping itself.

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  • 80% of US antibiotic production is still being sold to be fed to healthy animals to promote growth! while many countries still have no regulations at all, to control the sale and use of antibiotics!
    29 APRIL 2015 | GENEVA – A quarter of countries that responded to a WHO survey have national plans to preserve antimicrobial medicines like antibiotics, but many more countries must also step up. A new report, “Worldwide country situation analysis: Response to antimicrobial resistance”, which outlines the survey findings, reveals that while much activity is underway and many governments are committed to addressing the problem, there are major gaps in actions needed across all 6 WHO regions to prevent the misuse of antibiotics and reduce spread of antimicrobial resistance.

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