January 20, 2021 9:53:07 AM IST
Oxford University in the UK has received a £ 100 million (€ 112 million, $ 136 million) donation to research growing antibiotic resistance, the university said on Tuesday. The sum of the British multinational chemical company Ineos is one of the largest donations to Oxford University in its long history. The funds will be used to create a new institute to tackle the growing phenomenon of antibiotic resistance (AMR) caused by the increasing exposure of animals and humans to drugs used to treat diseases caused by bacteria.
Rising antibiotic resistance is already causing another 1.5 million deaths each year, according to Oxford University.
By 2050, up to 10 million deaths a year could be due to antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs that are no longer effective against common diseases.
Oxford Vice Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson said the coronavirus pandemic had demonstrated the urgent need to address the “catastrophic” public health threat posed by antibiotic resistance.
“We knew for a fact that there was great potential for another pandemic. We were reminded several times and yet we were surprised,” she said.
“We know that the number of antibiotics in humans is decreasing every year due to the increase in resistance, so it is imperative that we take action and the impact of failure to prepare for the pandemic I think adds to the importance of acting before it too much is. late. “”
Jim Ratcliffe, CEO of Ineos, said industry-science collaboration is “now critical to combating antibiotic resistance”.
“We are excited to partner with one of the world’s leading research universities to accelerate progress in addressing this pressing global challenge,” he added.
The discovery of penicillin – the world’s first antibiotic – was made in Oxford and subsequently saved millions of lives around the world.
In collaboration with the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, a team from Oxford University has also developed one of the first vaccines to protect against Covid-19.
“The vaccines, which were manufactured in record time and have light at the end of the tunnel, were developed from research carried out long before the Covid-19 hit,” said David Sweetnam, consultant at Ineos Institute Oxford.
“It is clear that we must now look for new antibiotics with the same urgency as we have for new vaccines,” he added.
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