The UK government has announced that it is to invest £3.5 million to help develop new treatments for gonorrhoea and make them available to low- and middle-income countries.
The investment is part of a continued partnership with the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF) and the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP).
The government has said the investment will:
- Enable global access to treatment, including in low- and middle-income countries where the burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is greatest
- Fund GARDP’s development of oral antibiotic zoliflodacin, which is now in the last stage of clinical trials before reaching the market.
“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,” said Minister for Innovation, Nicola Blackwood. “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.”
There have been cases of gonorrhoea developing resistance to recommended treatments, including in the UK.
Zoliflodacin is one of the few antibiotics in development to specifically treat gonorrhoea and is significant as treatments for gonorrhoea are becoming less effective.
This innovative project will develop solutions to treat the global rise of gonorrhoea”
“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,” said Dr Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director of GARDP. “The recent initiation of the Phase III trial of zoliflodacin is an important milestone towards bringing one of our five treatments a step closer to patients by 2025.
“The global nature of the trial, across four continents, represents our commitment to ensuring this treatment is available to anyone in need, wherever they live.”
GARDP will now start pharmaceutical development activities for zoliflodacin and will develop a new strategy for access and appropriate use in low- and middle-income countries that have a high number of cases of gonorrhoea.