New £30m initiative launched to support innovation against antimicrobial resistance – PharmaTimes

New £30m initiative launched to support innovation against antimicrobial resistance - PharmaTimes

Global innovators can apply to PACE to receive up to £1m per project

Innovate UK, LifeArc and the Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) have collaborated to launch a £30m initiative to support early-stage innovation against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The UK’s largest public-private initiative for AMR drug and diagnostic discovery, Pathways to Antimicrobial Clinical Efficacy (PACE), will select and invest in projects to accelerate the speed of innovation and mitigate the risk of AMR.

Designated by the World Health Organization as one of the top ten global health threats to humanity, AMR occurs when bacteria and other microbes evolve and become resistant to treatment.

It is predicted to be responsible for ten million deaths by 2050 and could cost around $3.5bn per year on healthcare from 2015 to 2050.

PACE aims to deliver innovations to support development and investment to advance innovators onward, closer to clinical trials.

Collectively, with a pandemic-style approach, the translational science community will receive support to deliver well-needed breakthroughs to tackle AMR.

PACE will apply vital learning from other disease areas, including cancer and COVID-19, and will provide wrap-around support for a diverse range of funded projects that focus on targeted treatments and rapid diagnostics, along with other innovative developments.

Additionally, it will provide funding, resources and partnerships to support innovators progress their early-stage antimicrobial drug and diagnostics projects.

George Freeman, MP and minister of state, department for science, innovation and technology, said the initiative is “vital” to bringing “the brightest minds from industry, academia and the third sector together” to combat AMR.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, UK special envoy on AMR, said that PACE “will give [the] science community greater ability to break down the technical, financial and regulatory barriers that have prevented the breakthroughs that our modern medical systems rely on.”

With up to £10m available to support innovators developing new antimicrobials, AMR global innovators are now able to apply to PACE, with projects expected to last up to two years, for a total funding amount of up to £1m per project.