£10 million to tackle antimicrobial resistance

The Department of Health and Social Care is launching a £10 million research competition to fund innovations to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in humans.

Without a better understanding of how to tackle and prevent the increasing threat of AMR, which includes bacterial resistance to existing antibiotics, treatable infections could become life-threatening.

The £10 million will be made available in research grants funded through a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), which will be run by Innovate Uk on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care. The funding follows the global ‘Call to Action’ conference by the Wellcome Trust, the UN Foundation, and the UK, Ghanaian and Thai governments, to accelerate action in this area.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, said: “Antimicrobial resistance may seem like a distant threat, but people are already dying needlessly in their thousands across the world, including in this country, because they have a drug-resistant infection and we do not have effective drugs to treat them. This problem is only getting worse – we urgently need to find solutions.

“More research is critical, which is why the UK government is calling on some of the country’s brightest minds to come up with new ways to prevent, control and combat these infections in the future. I know there are exciting projects needing support in this area – this competition presents a fantastic opportunity for the UK to lead this work.”

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