Medicines Discovery Catapult and Cystic Fibrosis Trust join forces to drive drug-discovery and address urgent unmet need 

Cystic Fibrosis Syndicate in Antimicrobial Resistance launches

Medicines Discovery Catapult has joined forces with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust to form the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Syndicate in Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). The CF Syndicate in AMR brings industry leaders and people affected by CF together with academics who have expertise in CF and pulmonary infection. The syndicate aims to accelerate the translation of new CF antimicrobials to the clinic and ultimately bring better treatment options to people affected by CF faster.

The UK hosts a community of SMEs and academics with world-class CF and AMR knowledge and expertise. However, these researchers face remarkable challenges in navigating the complex drug discovery and regulatory landscapes to develop their research and translate it to the clinic. There have been no new classes of antibiotics developed in the last 25 years.

Over 10,500 people in the UK are living with CF and, as a result of the condition, develop a build-up of thick sticky mucus in their lungs and other organs. This creates the perfect environment for harmful bacteria and fungi to grow, causing patients to suffer from frequent and persistent lung infections for which they are routinely treated with oral and inhaled antibiotics.

Antibiotics remain a necessary therapeutic for people with CF to manage both acute pulmonary flare-ups (exacerbations) and for long term use to suppress the growth of bacteria in the lungs. This daily, lifelong use of antibiotics significantly increases the risk of people affected by CF developing AMR – the ability of disease-causing microorganisms to survive treatment with previously effective antibiotics.

As a strategic partnership focused on this urgent unmet need, the CF Syndicate in AMR will drive research to enable the new discovery pipeline of CF antimicrobials.

The CF Syndicate in AMR will achieve this by actively engaging the community on the development and delivery of impactful research projects through collaboration and access to invaluable knowledge and expertise.

Dr Alessandra Gaeta, Syndicates Programme Director at Medicines Discovery Catapult, says:  

“The CF Syndicate in AMR will provide a driving force in addressing the urgent call for better antimicrobials targeted to the needs of people affected by CF. Bringing together charity, industry and the academic community with people affected by CF, the CF Syndicate in AMR will coordinate and catalyse focussed research efforts to tackle key challenges in the discovery and translation of CF antimicrobials.  We’re delighted to be working closely alongside the CF Trust on this important initiative to accelerate drug-discovery in this field.”

Dr Paula Sommer, Head of Research at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said: 

“We are excited to be working with Medicines Discovery Catapult to bring together the experts in the CF research community, industry, and people affected by CF, to accelerate the development of new, urgently needed antimicrobials.”

Find out more about the Cystic Fibrosis Syndicate in Antimicrobial Resistance >