Doctors and Academics join forces to address the lack of new antibiotics

Professor Laura Piddock from the University of Birmingham is leading an initiative to make new antibiotics through the BSAC, British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. Recent work from the BSAC showed that there are three ‘roadblocks’ to the development of new antibiotics. These are finding new ‘druggable’ molecules, cost and time of development by Pharmaceutical companies and regulating and licensing new drugs.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the great global medical challenges of the 21st century. The number of multi-drug resistant infections is rising in patients in hospital and the community, from young to old. This puts 21st century medicine, including many surgical procedures and cancer chemotherapy, which require antibiotics at risk. Against this backdrop they argue that the drive to find effective new antimicrobial treatments has never been greater.

Professor Piddock explains: ‘This issue needs tackling in several ways – from understanding the basic biology of how bacteria become resistant to drugs, making new molecules that kill resistant bacteria, reducing the costs of developing new drugs, and improving the process that regulates and licenses new drugs so that they reach the patient’

The perception is that infectious disease is no longer a problem in Western countries. The fact is that there is an urgent need to develop a new generation of antibiotics to tackle growing microbial resistance.”

The University of Birmingham is at the forefront of collaborative efforts to not just explore how bacteria become antibiotic resistant but to identify potential new drug compounds and combinations to combat resistance.

ENDS

For more information, please contact Jenni Ameghino, University of Birmingham Press Office. Tel: 0121 415 8134

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