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Antibacterial drug resistance is a major problem facing the world, and unless tackled urgently, will lead to a huge cost in terms of mortality, morbidity, economic loss, agricultural productivity, and will require a major re-think of the way that surgery is conducted. This is a complex problem that needs to be tackled on multiple fronts. A principal requirement is the discovery and development of new classes of antibacterials that are not cross-resistant to current antibiotics.

The Drug Discovery Unit has developed an Antibacterial Drug Discovery Accelerator (ADDA) for early phase drug discovery for new antibacterials that will create a step-change in the discovery of new antimicrobial drugs and will fill a critical void in the antibacterial discovery-to-therapeutics landscape. The ADDA is translating discovery science innovation, such as a new assays or potential drug targets, into drug-leads which will be partnered or out-licenced to pharmaceutical companies or product development partnerships to take them towards clinical trials and delivery to patients.

ADDA is focussed on drug resistant ESKAPE pathogens, in particular (multi) drug resistant Gram negative bacteria. Novel targets, and novel approaches to existing targets, cherry-picked from the outstanding UK microbiology research community, are being developed into a portfolio of new classes of antibacterial compound. Project selection is based on an assessment of target feasibility and enabling assets, degree of validation, innovation, and likely ligandability.

The Antibacterial Drug Discovery Accelerator complements the Drug Discovery Unit’s existing programmes of drug discovery for tuberculosis, malaria, cryptosporidiosis, visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas’ disease.

Our ambition is that ADDA will be a sustainable not-for-profit accelerator delivering impact for our key stakeholders; the taxpayer, medical charities and patients and will grow to 22 FTE over time.

ADDA is part of a wider collective effort at the University of Dundee to tackle antimicrobial resistance. The Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance at the University of Dundee has four major themes: Understanding Resistant Microbes, New Therapeutics, Technology and Diagnostics, and Clinical Practice.