Aim for participants will be to quickly new antimicrobial therapies to treat chronic respiratory infections

The Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Syndicate in Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has announced pivotal £3m funding for a Collaborative Discovery Programme. The initiative is designed to encourage drug discovery innovators in the development of new treatments for individuals with CF.

Funded by medical research charity LifeArc, the programme will support approximately five collaborative projects – each receiving £500,000 of funding. The aim for participants is to quickly establish new antimicrobial therapies to treat chronic respiratory infections.

Researchers within small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and academia across the world are eligible to apply, with projects expected to last up to two years. Applicants are requested to address patients' priorities for improving treatment set out in the CF AMR Syndicate's recently-published ‘Target Product Profiles for Antimicrobials’.

The programme also delivers a collaborative approach to drug development, with successful applicants being able to access expert advice from managing partners, including Medicines Discovery Catapult, Cystic Fibrosis Trust and LifeArc.

Dr Paula Sommer, head of research at Cystic Fibrosis Trust, explained how important the imitative is: "People living with CF are particularly vulnerable to antimicrobial resistance. New antimicrobials that target infections caused by microbes commonly associated with lung infections in CF are urgently needed. We are delighted to announce this funding call aimed at stimulating new research and development into treatments with the potential to benefit people with CF."

Dr Beverley Isherwood, partnership lead for infectious disease at Medicines Discovery Catapult, reflected: "The CF AMR Syndicate is a unique initiative that brings people with CF together with leading experts from across the industry, academia and clinical care to accelerate the translation of CF antimicrobials to the clinic."

Dr Catherine Kettleborough, LifeArc's chronic respiratory infection translational challenge lead, concluded: "This funding call is part of LifeArc's £100m programme to accelerate scientific innovation for people living with CF and bronchiectasis.

“Working with MDC and Cystic Fibrosis Trust, this funding call aims to deliver new therapies to end the vicious cycle of infection, inflammation and permanent lung damage for people living with CF."

CF impacts the lives of over 162,000 people globally. While advances in drug treatment have transformed the experience of many people with the condition, they still have not benefited everyone and new therapies are urgently required.