SOUTH AFRICA – Multinational healthcare company Johnson & Johnson has opened a new research center focused on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) at the Holistic Drug Discovery and Development (H3D) Centre in University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Antimicrobials are medications that are used to prevent and treat infections in humans, animals, and plants including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitic medication.
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites evolve and no longer respond to antibiotics hence making infections more difficult to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.
Antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective as a result of drug resistance and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.
AMR is a major threat to global health with the power to transform easily treated diseases into deadly killers by rendering medicines and medical innovations ineffective.
The cost of AMR to national economies and health systems is significant because it reduces the productivity of patients and caregivers by requiring longer hospital stays and more expensive and intensive care.
Subsequently, the J&J Satellite Center for Global Health Discovery will aid in developing new solutions to address the present and rising threat of antimicrobial resistance with a specific focus on multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB).
The Satellite Center is part of a global network of research collaborations between the Company and leading research institutions to accelerate translational and discovery research to address some of the world’s most pressing global health challenges.
The Center seeks to outpace the MDR Gram-negative bacteria which are particularly concerning to public health because of their resistance to multiple antibiotics and the limited availability of treatment options.
It will further stimulate local innovation and support researchers to advance discovery research and development to combat antimicrobial resistance.
The Center will leverage technologies and institutional strengths of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and H3D to facilitate the early-stage science, innovation and talent development needed to tackle AMR in Africa and around the world.
Moreover, Johnson & Johnson invested in developing the new research center to increase the capacity of the innovation ecosystem in Africa in order to strengthen research and development for emerging global health challenges.
It also provides local researchers an opportunity to investigate the health challenges that impact their communities without having to leave those communities.