antibiotics-300x187Discuva, the antibiotics drug discovery and development company, has announced the receipt of a £1.5 million Biomedical Catalyst early stage award from Innovate UK to develop novel antibiotics to tackle the issue of multidrug-resistance and life-threatening bacterial infections.

The project, entitled “Exploitation of transport mechanisms for novel Gram-negative antibiotic drug discovery,” will leverage Discuva’s proprietary SATIN technology to explore new biological targets and deliver novel drug candidates that have a reduced likelihood of eliciting resistance compared to conventional antibiotics.

According to the O’Neil Report on antimicrobial resistance, drug-resistant infections could kill 10 million people a year by 2050.

“This award from Innovate UK allows Discuva to capitalise on the unparalleled genome-wide molecular data that SATIdelivers to fully understand and exploit drug uptake and excretion in bacterial cells. This information will enable the discovery and development of further novel antimicrobial drugs to combat the antibiotic resistant Gram-negative pathogens that are the cause of life-threatening infections in our healthcare system,” said David Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Discuva.

“Conducting this project will also contribute to an expansion of Discuva’s capabilities and further develop its early stage antimicrobial pipeline. Ultimately, our aim is to provide significant benefits to patients, the NHS and health care systems globally, as well as the antibiotic research community.”

About antibiotic resistance: Antibacterial resistance represents a major threat to public health worldwide. The problem is getting worse owing to the lack of new effective treatments being authorised recently, which may lead to infections becoming more difficult to treat.

In addition, many more people die of complications caused by secondary infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria because the side-effects of the treatment for their primary condition reduces the patient’s defence to bacteria, leaving them vulnerable to an increasing range of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

In the USA, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than two million patients are affected by drug-resistant infections each year, with direct healthcare costs as high as $20 billion and with additional costs to society for lost productivity potentially doubling these figures.

At least 23,000 die as a direct result of antibiotic resistance in these increasingly dangerous infectious agents.

In a report published jointly by the European Medicines Agency, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the international network ReAct – Action on Antibiotic Resistance, at least 25,000 patients in the EU die each year from infections owing to bacteria that are resistant to many medicines, and infections related to these bacteria in the EU result in additional healthcare costs and productivity losses of at least €1.5 billion each year.