Two of the key organisations in the UK and Russia leading efforts to combat the global problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) have announced a formal agreement to work together. The AMR Centre (AMRC), located at Alderley Park, Cheshire, is to collaborate with Russian science and technology organisation, the Skolkovo Foundation, which is based in Moscow. They will work in partnership to identify opportunities for joint UK-Russian funding to support collaborative projects between organisations in both countries.
The agreement will see the AMRC provide support to Skolkovo for the preclinical development of new therapies and diagnostics for AMR. The centre will offer assistance in the form of R&D expertise and help with funding applications, including applications for international funding from its alliance partner, CARB-X, a $400m global initiative backed by the US Government and UK charity the Wellcome Trust.
Dr Peter Jackson (ARMC Executive Director, pictured) said: “The situation we find ourselves in today is both grave and complex, based on a growing drug resistance and a dwindling supply of effective antibiotics. The nature of the crisis and progress in tackling the issues does vary around the world, and touches on issues such as drug-prescribing habits, use of antibiotics in animal health and the ability to reduce the potential for bacterial infection in hospitals.
“What doesn’t vary is the desperate need for innovation, for programmes that investigate ways of getting us out of what is a problem that already claims 700,000 lives a year and is likely to escalate to a level that will have drastic impacts on public health the world over.
“Antimicrobial resistance is a very serious issue in Russia and we are pleased to be able to collaborate with Russian companies working in this field and offer our assistance and advice with funding and clinical expertise. There is a deep well of scientific resource in Russia which can be directed at this challenge and we will use our knowledge and contacts to help coordinate activity and bring on projects which might not otherwise progress.”