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28.10.19

Government invests £3.5 million into development of new treatments for gonorrhoea

The investment is part of a continued corporation with the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, a not-for-profit research and development organisation co-founded by the World Health Organisation and the Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative in 2016. New developments will be made for new treatments in order to make them available to low- and middle-income countries.

The initiative will allow global access to treatment, including in low- and middle-income countries where the burden of antimicrobial resistance is highest and fund GARDP’s development of oral antibiotic zolifodacin, which is now in the last stage of clinical trials before reaching the market.

Zoliflodacin is one of the very few antibiotics in the process of being established to specifically treat gonorrhoea and is momentous as treatments for gonorrhoea are becoming less effective.

There have been cases of gonorrhoea developing resistance to recommended treatments, including in the UK.

Gonorrhoea is among the most common sexually-transmitted infections with an estimated 87 million new cases globally every year.

The STI can have serious consequences on public health, and when left untreated, serious consequences for reproductive health as well as increased risk of transmission of HIV and STIs.

Women, and marginalized and vulnerable groups are disproportionately affected.

Minister for Innovation, Nicola Blackwood said: “The UK is a global leader in tackling antimicrobial resistance, a threat that is posing serious risks to health and the global economy, as well as killing hundreds of thousands of people around the world each year.

“It is vital to fund new antibiotic research and development to tackle AMR and this innovative project will develop solutions to treat the global rise of gonorrhoea and improve the quality of people’s lives.”

Dr Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director of GARDP said: “We are excited to unveil our new strategy, 5 BY 25, outlining GARDP’s ambition to accelerate the development of 5 new treatments by 2025.

“The recent initiation of the phase 3 trial of zoliflodacin is an important milestone towards bringing one of our 5 treatments a step closer to patients by 2025.

“The global nature of the trial, across 4 continents, represents our commitment to ensuring this treatment is available to anyone in need, wherever they live.”

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