Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is the greatest global health challenge of our time. AMR occurs when a micro-organism becomes resistant to an antimicrobial medicine, such as an antibiotic. Today, an estimated 700,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections. More alarmingly, this number is projected to accelerate towards 10 million by 2050, outstripping even cancer (Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, UK Government, 2014).
We now face the possibility of a post-antibiotic era, where even the most basic of infections could become deadly again. Medical procedures we take for granted, including surgery and chemotherapy, could become impossible.
Why is this happening?
All of this is being caused by what experts call the “Perfect Storm”. The antibiotics we rely on are rapidly losing effect (due to bacterial evolution), and new antibiotics are scarcely being developed. The time to first reported case of resistance for a new antibiotic is shorter now than ever before:
Pre-1980: 11.3 years to first report
Post-1980: 1.6 years to first report
This is because modern antibiotics are predominantly derived from earlier generation drugs, by simply modifying or adding to them. As such, the bacteria are already familiar with these new antibiotics, making their task of fighting off the new drug simple.
At Wintermute Biomedical, we are performing leading-edge research and development into the discovery of next-generation antibiotics to prevent the rapid development of resistance.
In addition to progressing GS-1 towards clinical trials for treating skin infections, we are actively researching, developing and testing:
A wide range of other micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Other formulations including ingestible, intravascular and intramuscular (systemic).
Antimicrobial coatings for medical devices.
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