North Bristol announced as partner in fight against in antibiotic-resistance

Friday, 17 March 2017

Our microbiologists have been announced as partners in a state-of-the-art research centre being set up to develop new antibiotics.

The North Bristol NHS Trust team, based at Southmead Hospital are leaders in this field and are working on a University of Liverpool-led project to create the Centre for Antimicrobial Pharmacodynamics (CAP) in partnership with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM).

Funding of £630,000 has been announced for the project.

Our team will be looking at how new and existing antibiotics can be better used to make people better but also to minimise the risk of resistance in the future.

They will be assessing different potential doses and combinations of antibiotics as well as the length of time people should take a course as part of their lab-based work.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing problem worldwide, and with few new drugs making it to the market, there is an urgent need for new drug treatments to manage infections caused by resistant pathogens.

A deep understanding of pharmacodynamics (the study of how a drug affects the body) is a regulatory requirement for the development of antimicrobial drug treatments and enables the right dose of a new drug to be studied the first time.

The new centre will cover a significant gap in the UK’s capability to develop new antimicrobial drugs by providing researchers and companies with access to pharmacodynamics research expertise, facilities and training.

Professor Alasdair MacGowan, who is leading on the work here at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “This work has international importance in terms of wherever you are using a drug, be it in a resource-poor country or a European country we want people to use the drugs in the best way possible both to ensure that we make people better but also to minimise the risk of resistance in the future.”

Professor William Hope, University of Liverpool, who will lead the new Centre, said: “Characterising the preclinical and clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of anti-infective drugs is a relatively recent and mandatory regulatory requirement, which has created a bottleneck for AMR project progression because there is a lack of global skills and capacity to meet demand.

“The CAP will build on Liverpool’s existing strength in antimicrobial pharmacodynamics and therapeutics research to give scientists access to the skills and equipment they need to advance the development of new antibiotics.”

The facility will be aligned with AMR accelerators in the USA and Europe and will provide a local resource for around 20 UK and 90 global AMR companies. Capabilities will include state-of-the-art in vitro and in vivo models of infection; preclinical imaging facilities; advanced pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PK-PD) and mathematical modelling skills, as well as a focus on teaching and training for all aspects of antimicrobial pharmacodynamics.

In addition to the Innovate UK funding, the University will invest in new senior academic posts, while LSTM will contribute state-of-the-art laboratory space in the