Destiny Pharma has been awarded a significant new grant funding up to £1.6 million, under the new UK-China antimicrobial resistance (AMR) programme.

The biotechnology company, which focuses on the development of novel antimicrobial drugs, announced a two-year project that will examine the use of its novel XF drug series to prevent, control, and eradicate life threatening bacteria or “superbugs” without generating resistance.

The news comes shortly after the UK announced the launch of a five-year action plan and 20-year vision for AMR, with warning from health secretary Matt Hancock that AMR is "as big a danger to humanity as climate change or warfare”.

The research work will be carried out by Destiny Pharma’s team in collaboration with expert groups at Cardiff University and Tianjin Medical University, and will aim to identify safe and efficacious compounds with a reduced resistance profile.

Neil Clark, chief executive officer of Destiny Pharma, commented:

“These newly awarded funds, under the new UK‑China collaboration, will help further explore our XF drug platform in collaboration with expert teams at Cardiff University and Tianjin Medical University.

“The research will investigate the utility of our XF drug platform, especially in the treatment of dermal and ocular infections. We are hopeful this collaboration may help us identify additional clinical candidates that are safe, effective and with a significantly reduced level of antimicrobial resistance.”

The UK aims to cut the number of drug-resistant infections by 10% (5,000 infections) by 2025, reducing the use of antibiotics in humans by 15%, and preventing at least 15,000 patients from contracting infections as a result of their healthcare each year by 2024.