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  1. ITV Report

University of East Anglia given multi-million-pound funding boost to combat superbugs

The team say they want to revolutionise treatment of serious and life-threatening infections. Photo: ITV Anglia

Scientists at the University of East Anglia have been given a 7.4-million-pound funding boost to combat superbugs.

The overuse of antibiotics has made infections harder to treat, leading to thousands of deaths a year.

Part of the UEA's solution has been to develop new antibiotics, however, there has not been a new class of the medicine since the 1980s.

The team say they want to revolutionise treatment of serious and life-threatening infections and improve patient well-being.

The UEA hope that new drugs will one-day help save lives by combating the worst superbugs. Credit: ITV Anglia

Procarta Biosystems founder Prof Michael McArthur, from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said: "Our aim is to create new drugs that shut down bacteria's protective genes in order to stop antibiotic resistance.

"It is important because the problem of antibiotic resistance could take medicine back to the dark ages. Infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria lead to prolonged hospital stays, an increase in deaths and pose a major threat to global public health."

The money has come form a global partnership of organisations, all working to stop antibiotic resistance. The UEA hope that new drugs will one-day help save lives.

"If new drugs are not available soon, some infections could become completely untreatable and surgery and cancer therapy could become much riskier."

– Prof Michael McArthur, UEA