Redx joins call to discover new antibiotics to stop global crisis

05 Nov 2014

Redx Pharma has taken part in a flagship conference held at Alderley Park, Cheshire to discuss the business response to the global health threat posed by antibiotic resistance.

The event, BioInfect 2014, organised by the North West life science group Bionow, featured contributions from leading players in antibiotic drug development, including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, along with public and animal health experts from around the world.

Antibiotic resistance kills around 25,000 people in the European Union each year. The World Health Organisation has warned that we are heading into a pre-antibiotic era where a simple infection could prove deadly. Yet new antibiotic development has slowed to a standstill due to market failure and regulatory disincentives.

In July this year Prime Minister David Cameron commissioned internationally renowned economist Jim O’Neill to review the economic impact of antibiotic resistance on the UK. In September, meanwhile, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order directing key federal departments and agencies to take action to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the USA.

Hala Audi, head of review in Jim O’Neill’s team working for the UK government, urged conference delegates to stop preaching to the choir and help take the debate about both the misuse of antibiotics and infection control to wider audiences. She revealed the O’Neill Commission on Antibiotic Resistance will make its initial findings public in May next year, after which will follow a year of consultation before reporting in 2016.

Neil Murray, chief executive of Redx Pharma, said: Nature is unfortunately well ahead of all of us in terms of the ability of bacteria to become resistant to drugs.

Dr Neil Murray of Redx Pharma (above) and Dr Andrew Ratcliffe, Redx Anti-Infectives, both gave presentations at BioInfect 2014

Increasingly, bacteria and other disease-causing microorganisms are becoming resistant to the drugs that we have available. The production of only two new classes of antibiotics in the last 50 years is part of a complex and serious problem.

We are in a race against time to develop new drugs and the industry accepts it needs to rebuild the infrastructure in business and academia to get the pipeline flowing. There are many associated problems but the simple fact is we need more drugs. The UK has a global leadership position in the fight against antibiotic resistance and we look forward to working with the O’Neill Commission and other colleagues in the area to develop solutions to this critical problem.