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Several months after a splashy announcement, an ambitious pharmaceutical industry venture to tackle antibiotic resistance has hired its first chief executive officer and received $140 million in additional funding commitments.

Henry Skinner
Henry Skinner Courtesy Henry Skinner

The AMR Action Fund, which was organized with $1 billion in pledged funds from nearly two dozen drug makers, tapped Henry Skinner, a venture capitalist and the former head of Novartis (NVS) Venture Funds, to pilot the project. The goal is to acquire or invest in small companies that can develop two to four novel antibiotics by 2030 and replenish the global supply chain with needed treatments.


“The value proposition is broken. The pipeline is not as robust as it should be and the access to capital to is extremely constrained, which is our job to fix,” said Skinner, a trained microbiologist who until recently, was a senior vice president for venture investments at Tekla Capital Management, which runs funds that invest in health care and life sciences.

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  • I tend to agree there are antibiotics that are resistant, I have used 3 prescribed for cellulitis in the leg over the course of six months, the third one worked better but still the infection to a lesser extent is still persisting. I think there is a time when the immune system should be a better solution, so being recently diagnosed with diabetes type 2, have started with metformin and supplements like NMN and resvertrol may benefit. I do feel a lot better (not sure how much placebo is in that?)

  • R&D for new antibiotics is dangerously lagging, and urgently needs this kind of well-funded and well-guided boost. The over-use of existing antibiotics, and the increasing resistance of killer-bacteria (the most notorious is Methacillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, the super-bug in hospital MRSA outbreaks) dictate the very urgent need for non-stop endeavours to develop new antibiotics (and anti-virals too). This article fails to mention another big and long-time funder of this kind of R&D and also pandemic readiness : the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation = billionaires who does put their fortunes to work for others.

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