22.11.2018 | Listen & watch now: The long road to defeating superbugs
Image caption: L-R Dr Peter Jackson of the AMR Centre & Dr Werner Lanthaler, CEO of Evotec.
The long road to defeating superbugs
The threat to public health posed by ‘superbugs’ is a priority issue for the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and many others because of the potentially disastrous impact on human health. The UK Government’s own review, led by Lord Jim O’Neill, estimates that anti-microbial resistance – AMR – will claim more than 10 million lives a year by 2050. That’s a higher death rate than cancer as the problem reverses decades of advances in medicine.
The threat stems from bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that naturally develop resistance against medicines that were previously able to kill them. At the same time, the failure of the drug development pipeline in this area and the overuse of the antibiotics we have in human and animal health has created a crisis. We have a diminishing pool of effective antibiotics and without them even routine medical procedures become more dangerous.
Influential supported Bionow, the north of industry life science group, on communications around Bioinfect 2018, its conference exploring the AMR challenge. The event featured health experts, academics and business leaders from around the world and took place at Alderley Park in Cheshire on November 8.
During the day we spoke to Dr Werner Lanthaler, CEO of Evotec, a business which has a major focus on AMR and has developed into one of the European leaders in biotechnology over the last 20 years. We also spoke to Dr Peter Jackson of the AMR Centre, which is leading the UK response to the issue. Both feature in this podcast and we also recorded some video clips during the day.