187 million for new antibiotics
11 February 2013
The European Union, together with pharmaceutical companies, invests € 187 million in faster development of new antibiotics. UMC Utrecht will receive € 5.5 million to set up a collaboration between hospitals. The project was launched this month.
With the European grant the UMC Utrecht will form a network of European hospitals where new antibiotics can be quickly and properly tested. They will assess the quality of the hospitals, and keep track of the type of pathogenic bacteria that occur.
"We will set up an infrastructure to test new antibiotics," says project leader Prof. Marc Bonten, MD, PhD. He is professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and in the Julius Center at UMC Utrecht. "Because clinical trials run faster and more smoothly, we can shorten the phase between laboratory tests and bringing them onto the market. This speeds up the introduction of new products and makes it attractive for pharmaceutical companies to develop new antibiotics. "
The European Union funds, in the COMB ACTE project (Combating Bacterial Resistance in Europe), a collaboration between research institutions and pharmaceutical companies to develop new antibiotics and testing. This is necessary because antibiotic-resistant bacteria are increasing, while development of new antibiotics is economically not very favorable for pharmaceutical companies. Moreover, new products may not be admitted to the market because the clinical trials in which they were tested didn’t meet the quality standards of medical authorities. The UMC Utrecht is the research leader of the project.
Part of the COMB ACTE project is a clinical trial on the efficacy of a new antibiotic produced by the pharmaceutical company, GSK. The antibiotic might help against the hospital bacterium MRSA. GSK is investing, together with other pharmaceutical companies, € 104 million in the project.
The research grant is provided by the Innovative Medicines Initiative, part of the European Seventh Framework Program. The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries supports the initiative. See also: www.imi.europa.eu.