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.