New antibiotic drugs for fatal infections – Exeter experts join the hunt


A system to rule out drugs that don’t work by screening  drugs early in their development, is being worked on by the team who has just received a Eurostars programme grant of about £740, 000 (i.e. €840, 000). This system will help save costs and development time.

Grant with French research organisation Voxcan and Swiss pharmaceutical company BioVersys was won by BioSystems Technology, a body created by Dr Olivia Champion and Professor Richard Titball of University of Exeter.

The collaboration aims to transform the finding process of new antimicrobial drugs by creating a discovery platform against the lethal and untreatable infections caused by hospital-acquired bacteria.

Dr Olivia expressed his delight saying that the funding will provide them the opportunity to develop tools which will be used by researchers to test and identify new types of antibiotics for the treatment of problematic bacteria that cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and septicaemia.

The use of moth larvae as an effective and ethical alternative to mammalian scientific testing has been pioneered by BioSystems Technology.

The gap between the relatively small numbers of new drugs approved for use and the huge amount of research, referred to as “Valley of death”, is aimed to be bridged by the discovery.

Dr Olivia said that a strong competitive advantage will be gained to develop comprehensive solutions in this critical area, by combining the unique strengths and capabilities of the consortium partners.

Eurostars is co-funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 Framework Programme and EUREKA member countries.


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