Ineos has donated £100 million (€112,25 million) to the University of Oxford to set up and equip a new, world-leading institute to conduct research into the growing global issue of antimicrobial resistance, or AMR.
AMR is currently responsible for an estimated 1.5 million excess deaths each year, a number that has been projected to grow to 10 million by the year 2050. Called the silent pandemic , AMR is one of the most underreported issues of our time, said surgeon David Sweetnam, adviser to the Ineos Oxford Institute,
Bacterial resistance, caused by the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in human populations, for instance, by failing to finish a full prescribed course of antibiotics; but also in agriculture, is a rapidly progressing problem and experts say the world is fast running out of effective antibiotics.
The problem is compounded by the fact that the lack of scientific interest and funding in recent decades in the field of new drug discovery has meant that no new antibiotics have been successfully developed since the 1980s. As a result, both new drug development and better management of the existing drugs that are still effective are urgently needed - if a return to the pre-antibiotics era is to be avoided.