The AMR Centre, a body with public and private investors leading the UK’s response to the global health threat posed by antimicrobial resistance, has received a significant funding package to support the expansion of its pipeline of new drugs to treat drug-resistant infections.
The package totals £2.3m and is led by an investment from LifeArc, one of the UK’s foremost medical research charities. Other backers include Bruntwood SciTech, MGL, and the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Sciences Fund.
Based at Alderley Park, Cheshire, the AMR Centre is focused on accelerating the development of new antibiotics and diagnostics through a fully integrated development capability, offering translational R&D from pre-clinical hits through to clinical proof of concept.
The investment comes at a crucial time in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, following the announcement in January of the UK Government’s new plan to cut inappropriate use of antibiotics and reduce drug resistant infections. The National Action Plan, unveiled by health secretary Matt Hancock in Davos, set out how the UK will achieve its new 20-year vision for a world in which AMR is contained and controlled by 2040, covering health, animals, the environment and the food chain.
AMR Centre works with international SMEs and pharmaceutical companies to fast track their potentially vital new antibiotics into clinical trials. It currently has three projects with partners in the UK, Sweden and USA, and further programs in its pipeline with partners from around the world.
Dr Peter Jackson, executive director of the AMR Centre, said: “We hope that this initial investment by LifeArc, combined with the continued support of our existing investors, will be the start of a fruitful collaboration on our shared mission to deliver new therapies for serious drug resistant infections. There is currently a real momentum in the field of AMR research and investments like this are crucial in helping us build the collaborative networks we need to get life-saving drugs to market.”
LifeArc CEO Dr Melanie Lee said: “We are delighted to be able to support the AMR Centre. As a medical charity we are dedicated to accelerating the translation of innovation into new therapies and diagnostics. The AMR Centre’s aims align to our therapy area focus on fighting infection, including antimicrobial resistance. This is the start of a great collaboration, one which will help enhance this important research.”
Alderley Park, part of Bruntwood SciTech, is home to the UK’s largest single site life science campus which offers more than 1m sq. ft. of high specification lab space, a range of scientific services and the Alderley Park Accelerator which provides a comprehensive programme of business support for start-ups and scale-ups.
The GM&C Life Sciences Fund is a seed and early stage venture capital fund, which targets life sciences businesses, and is the result of a collaboration between Cheshire and Warrington Enterprise Partnership, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Cheshire East Council, and Manchester Science Partnerships.