Government of Canada supports world-class research on antimicrobial resistance

Canadian researchers to work with international collaborators to find innovative ways to prevent and treat drug-resistant bacterial infections

VANCOUVER, April 13, 2015 /CNW/ - Cathy McLeod, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, today announced, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, funding for research that will help ensure Canadian doctors have the tools they need to treat bacterial infections now and in the future.

The Government of Canada is investing $4 million to support researchers at the University of British Columbia, McMaster University and Université Laval. These Canadian researchers will work with international partners on six projects that focus on identifying new targets for antimicrobial drug development, new approaches to treating drug-resistant bacterial infections, and methods for preserving the effectiveness of existing antibiotics.

For example, Dr. Natalie Strynadka, a researcher at UBC and the Canada Research Chair in Antibiotic Discovery and Medicine, will contribute to two projects, including one that aims to find new molecules to prevent the inactivation of beta-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin.

The Government of Canada's investment in these research projects is being made through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).The projects were funded as part of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance, an international consortium involving Canada and 18 other member countries.

Quick Facts

  • Antimicrobial resistance develops when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change so that the medicines, such as antibiotics, used to treat these germs become less effective and sometimes do not work at all. While antimicrobial resistance can happen naturally, a major contributor is the overuse and misuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines.
  • The Government of Canada released its Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada: A Federal Framework for Action on October 24, 2014.
  • The Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use, released on March 31, 2015, builds on the Framework by identifying concrete steps that will be undertaken by the Government of Canada in the areas of stewardship, surveillance, and innovation.
  • The Government of Canada is a major supporter of research related to antimicrobial resistance, investing more than $143 million through CIHR since 2006.
  • Through CIHR, Canada is a member of the international Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance. CIHR is investing $4 million to support six projects involving Canadian researchers under this initiative.

Quotes

"Innovation is one of the key components of our Government's framework for addressing the global health issue of antimicrobial resistance. Today's announcement shows how Canadian researchers are contributing at the international level. Their work will benefit Canadians and people around the world."
Cathy McLeod, M.P.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

"Canadian researchers are at the leading edge of the science of antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic drug development. ‎CIHR is proud to support their work and their participation in international collaborations focused on producing innovative solutions to this global challenge."
Dr. Marc Ouellette
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity

Related Products

Fact Sheet

Associated Links

CIHR – Research Initiatives in Antimicrobial Resistance

Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use

Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada: A Federal Framework for Action

AMR Education and Awareness Materials

FACT SHEET

Investing in Innovation to Address Antimicrobial Resistance

  • Antibiotic resistance is a public health concern around the world. The number of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics is increasing.
  • In response, the Government of Canada has produced Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada: A Federal Framework for Action, which maps out a coordinated, collaborative federal approach to responding to the threat of antimicrobial resistance. It also sets out three areas of focus: surveillance, stewardship and innovation.
  • The Government of Canada is already a major supporter of research on antimicrobial resistance, investing more than $143 million in research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) since 2006. This research is fostering the development of new methods and tools to combat antimicrobial resistance and improve antimicrobial use. This funding is also supporting the participation of Canadian researchers in international research collaborations including the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance. Canada is a member of this initiative along with 18 other countries.
  • Under this initiative, the Government of Canada has invested $4 million through CIHR to support the following six new international projects involving researchers at Canadian universities. These researchers will work with international partners to develop new drugs and therapeutics approaches to treating bacterial infections. The projects are co-funded by several European research agencies.

 

Canadian researchers

Project

CIHR Funding

Participating countries

Dr. Natalie Strynadka

University of British Columbia

 

Developing new approaches to disrupting the construction of bacterial cell walls as a target for drug development.

 

$508,857

Canada

France

United Kingdom

Netherlands

Switzerland

Dr. Roger Levesque

Laval University

(Quebec, QC)

Reducing the ability of bacteria to cause disease using biofilms sensitive to antibiotics.

$379,899

Canada

United Kingdom

Denmark

Sweden

Dr. Nathan Magarvey

McMaster University

Dr. Raymond Andersen

University of British Columbia

Dr. Julian Davies

University of British Columbia

Developing natural antibiotics for treating drug resistant bacteria.

$1,500,000

Canada

France

Israel

United Kingdom

Dr. Charles Thompson

University of British Columbia

 

Developing a new strategy for treating drug resistant tuberculosis using a multiple target approach.

 

$600,000

Canada

Netherlands

France

Norway

Switzerland

Dr. Horacio Bach

Dr. Urs Hafeli

University of British Columbia

 

Investigating the mechanism of eradicating multi-drug resistant bacteria using organic and inorganic compounds and protein nanoparticles.

$461,760

Canada

Israel

Spain

Dr. Natalie Strynadka

University of British Columbia

 

Protecting the effectiveness of beta-lactam antibiotics by finding and developing molecules to prevent their inactivation.

$508,857

Canada

Netherlands

Sweden

 

 

SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 613-941-4563

RELATED LINKS
http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca

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