Our greatest challenge
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is the greatest global health challenge of our time. Today, an estimated 700,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections. More alarmingly, this number is projected to accelerate towards 10 million by 2050, outstripping even cancer.
We now face the possibility of a post-antibiotic era, where even the most basic of infections could become deadly again. Medical procedures we take for granted, including surgery and chemotherapy, could become impossible.
Why is this happening?
All of this is being caused by what experts call the “Perfect Storm”. The antibiotics we rely on are rapidly losing effect (due to bacterial evolution), and new antibiotics are scarcely being developed. The time to first reported case of resistance for a new antibiotic is shorter now than ever before:
- Pre-1980: 11.3 years to first report
- Post-1980: 1.6 years to first report
This is because modern antibiotics are predominantly derived from earlier generation drugs, by simply modifying or adding to them. As such, the bacteria are already familiar with these new antibiotics, making their task of fighting off the new drug simple.
What can we do?
Responsible use of antibiotics will help stem the proliferation of AMR, but it’s not enough. We desperately need new antibiotics that exhibit next-generation performance characteristics to prevent the rapid development of resistance.
At Wintermute, our sole focus is to develop next-generation antibiotics to help in the fight against AMR.