A recent report published by the Cabinet Office for the first time estimates that 80,000 people could die each year in the UK from antibiotic resistant infections. The National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies states that this number may die each year if no new antibiotics are introduced.
This is an alarming figure, particularly as it is likely to be the very young or very old who would be most at risk. Antibiotic Research UK, the world’s first charity devoted to finding new antibiotics, is trying to do something about the problem before it becomes a medical catastrophe.
Founded in mid-2014 by some of the country’s leading scientific and clinical experts in antibiotic resistance research, the charity aims to find new antibiotics with the first to be in clinical use by 2020. The charity is funded by public donation and hopes to replace the hole left by many of the big pharmaceutical companies that have withdrawn from antibiotic drug development.
Professor Colin Garner, Antibiotic Research UK’s Chief Executive says ‘The Risk Register report is a recognition that antibiotic resistance will become a major health threat if we don’t do something about the problem now. Our charity is determined to succeed in its goal of finding new antibiotics."
David Battie, Star Presenter on BBC TV's Antiques Roadshow, who was a victim of an antibiotic resistant infection said recently "no I am not dead but I was nearly’- you may have heard that I had quietly passed on to that auction house reject shelf in the sky; actually, it was close." David’s near death experience shows just how important it is that antibiotic resistant infections can be treated with new drugs. The charity aims to raise up to £30 million, through a combination of traditional fundraising, corporate sponsorship, trusts and foundations as well as newer fundraising methods such as crowd funding.