Matoke Holdings Ltd™ urges government to prioritise AMR in the Industrial Strategy

Press Release: Matoke Holdings Ltd™ urges government to prioritise AMR in the Industrial Strategy

Matoke Holdings™, a British biotechnology company that has developed a new generation of antimicrobials based on its Reactive Oxygen® technology platform, has urged the Government to prioritise the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in its flagship Industrial Strategy.

In a written submission to the consultation on the ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’, the government’s plan to increase productivity and economic growth, Matoke welcomes the focus on medicines development in the Industrial Challenge Strategy Fund. Matoke also called on the government to include measures specifically to support R&D of novel antimicrobials to combat the grave threat of AMR.

In a further submission last month to the House of Lords Science & Technology Committee into the role of life sciences in the industrial strategy, Matoke noted that AMR was barely mentioned in the recent independent Life Sciences Industrial Strategy report by Sir John Bell, published on August 30. The consultation response also identified the Patient Capital Review, a Government review into supporting long-term patient finance, as an opportunity to increase incentives for long-term investment in research and development that will support businesses’ growth. Matoke Holdings looks forward to the publication of the Industrial Strategy White Paper by the Government and the Science & Technology Committee’s report.

Ian Staples, Founder and Chief Executive of Matoke Holdings and Dr Matthew Dryden, Matoke’s Chief Scientific Officer, also had a constructive meeting with Professor John Watson, the Government’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, at the Department of Health to discuss the crucial role of R&D in leading the fight against AMR, in which the development of Reactive Oxygen® is playing an important part.

Mr Staples said: “There remains significant challenges for innovators trying to bring much needed new antimicrobials to market. If the Government wants to ensure the growth of British SMEs, it needs to ensure that they are supported through the whole R&D process, from feasibility to market entry.”

AMR is widely accepted as one of the major global challenges of the 21st century. It currently kills around 700,000 worldwide, 50,000 in the U.S. and Europe alone. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Medicines Agency, the cost of AMR to the NHS is estimated to be in excess of £180 million per annum, resulting in 3,000 deaths a year in the UK alone.1 There is a desperate need for innovation investment to provide new antibiotics to stay ahead of AMR. Whilst antimicrobial stewardship (limiting prescriptions of existing antibiotics) and improved infection control can form part of the solution, this will not halt AMR in the long-term – new treatments are needed.

1. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control/European Medicines Agency Joint Technical Report: The bacterial challenge: time to react (2009).
About Matoke Holdings
Matoke Holdings Ltd (MHL) is a British biotechnology development SME developing Reactive Oxygen technology as a novel antimicrobial which has been hailed as potentially the biggest breakthrough since the discovery of penicillin.
With the World Health Organisation predicating millions will die due to global antimicrobial resistance (AMR), Reactive Oxygen® technology is a solution to meet the global AMR threat, improve patient outcomes and lives. To date, in tests in the laboratory and on patients, no Ggram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including all multi-resistant strains have survived the present of Reactive Oxygen technology.
In partnership with world-leading researchers at British universities and teaching hospitals, MHL has developed a wide application format that takes the Reactive Oxygen technology platform into the heart of where antibiotics are increasingly failing.
About the Industrial Strategy
The Industrial Strategy is a flagship government policy, being led by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It aims to identify the UK’s competitive strengths, explore with industry the ways in which government can help, and put in place institutions and relationships to sustain higher levels of productivity over the long term. Overall, it hopes to improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country. A green paper, ‘Building Our Industrial Strategy’ was published in January 2017 seeking recommendations and input for inclusion in the Industrial Strategy. The government has not yet announced a date for the publication of the Industrial Strategy white paper.
About the House of Lords Science & Technology Committee inquiry
The Science and Technology Committee is holding an inquiry into ‘Life Sciences and the Industrial Strategy’ to investigate issues such as whether the Government has the necessary structures in place to support the life sciences sector; how the NHS can use procurement to stimulate innovation in the life sciences; and the content of the new Life Sciences industrial strategy, when published.

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