Can we prevent antibiotic resistance?
A BU-based partnership and $370M say we must
Since 2016, Boston University has been at the forefront of an international effort to combat antimicrobial resistance, leading CARB-X, a nonprofit partnership that channels funding and expertise to companies developing lifesaving new antibiotics, vaccines, and rapid diagnostics.
In May 2022, that work was given a boost with generous additional funding. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the US Department of Health & Human Services, will provide up to $300 million over 10 years. Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that supports biomedical research, will provide up to $70 million over three years. Both were founding supporters of CARB-X, contributing $355 million in its first six years.
In 2019, an estimated 1.27 million people worldwide died from infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria.
Antibiotics have saved countless lives since they were introduced in the 1940s, curing infections and making surgeries safer, but many bacteria have evolved and become resistant. In 2019, an estimated 1.27 million people worldwide died from infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria, according to a study published in The Lancet.
“Antibiotics are unlike other medicines,” says Kevin Outterson, CARB-X founding executive director and School of Law professor. “As bacteria evolve to become resistant, the problem keeps getting worse. We have to run faster, just to avoid falling behind.”