A new state-of-the-art institute for research into antimicrobial resistance is to open in Oxford, thanks to a £100 million donation from manufacturing giant Ineos.
Academic lead for chemistry at the new Ineos Oxford Institute (IOI) will be Hertford’s Professor Chris Schofield, Head of Organic Chemistry at Oxford. He says: “The IOI provides us with a wonderful opportunity to link word-class synthetic chemistry and microbiology within a single institute with the aim of enabling breakthrough new treatments in medicine and agriculture. Given our historic track record in antibiotic invention, it’s fantastic that the Ineos donation means we can do this in the UK.”
Antimicrobial resistance – caused by overuse and misuse of antibiotics – currently causes an estimated 1.5 million excess deaths each year, and could cause over 10m deaths per year by 2050. Predicted to also create a global economic toll of $100 trillion by mid-century, it is arguably the greatest economic and healthcare challenge facing the world post-Covid.
Alongside its drug discovery work, the IOI intends to partner with other global leaders in the field of antimicrobial resistance to raise awareness and promote responsible use of antimicrobial drugs. The academic team will contribute to research on the type and extent of drug resistant microbes across the world, and critically, will seek to attract and train the brightest minds in science to tackle this ‘silent pandemic’.