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Archbishop of York to Become Patron of National Charity Tackling Superbugs

Monday 16th November 2015

Antibiotic Research UK (ANTRUK), a charity founded in 2014 to save modern medicine from the onslaught of superbugs, is delighted to announce that the Most Reverend & Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York has agreed to become the Charity’s Patron.

Superbugs are fast becoming an increasing problem in hospitals and the community as bacteria become increasingly resistant to our existing antibiotics. There is a significant risk that future generations will not enjoy the same benefits of medicine as we do today. All the medical procedures currently taken for granted, for example cancer treatment, open heart surgery, hip and knee replacement and organ transplantation will become much more perilous.

Professor Colin Garner, Chief Executive of ANTRUK, said “We are delighted that the Archbishop of York has agreed to become the charity’s Patron and to make this announcement ahead of European Antibiotic Awareness Day this Wednesday which is focused on raising awareness of the responsible use of antibiotics. The Archbishop has a long standing commitment to healthcare and its importance to society across the globe”.

ANTRUK’s immediate task is to raise £250,000 to fund its first research programme to tackle superbugs. The charity, with some of the UK’s top antibiotic resistance researchers and scientists behind it including Dr David Brown the chair of the charity’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee who has had a long and distinguished career in the pharmaceutical industry and Professor Neil Woodford, of Public Health England’s antibiotic resistance screening centre, aims to develop its first new antibiotic therapy by the early 2020’s.

Antibiotic resistant infections are currently much higher in countries with high deprivation such as Africa and the Indian sub-continent and the concern is that resistance from high-incidence areas will spread. . Effective antibiotics are critical in an effective modern medicine environment. The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said in July 2014 when launching the O’Neill Antimicrobial Review chaired by Lord O’Neill that “If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine where treatable infections and injuries will kill once again” ( ).


The Archbishop of York has committed to helping ANTRUK achieve its primary objective to save modern medicine. The Archbishop said: “I am pleased to support Antibiotic Research, a charity dedicated to addressing the problems associated with antibiotic resistance which is one of the most  significant threats to patients' safety in Europe and worldwide. It is important to use antibiotics as they are prescribed so that these antibiotics can continue to be used to treat infections, to save lives and to provide good healthcare for all”.

In the longer term ANTRUK aims to raise £30 million, from public and private sources, over the next ten years, through a combination of traditional fundraising, corporate sponsorship, giving by trusts and foundations as well as newer fundraising methods such as crowd funding.



For media enquiries relating to the Archbishop of York, please contact Elizabeth Addy at email: or at tel.01904 772365


About Antibiotic Research UK

Antibiotic Research UK is the world’s first charity to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistant infection. We aim to develop one new antibiotic therapy by 2020 with further antibiotics being introduced over the next decade. To reach our goals we need to raise £30 million over the next 5-7 years. Antibiotic Research UK has the support of some of the United Kingdom’s leading scientific and clinical experts in antibiotic resistance, drawn from 14 of the country’s top universities and 12 specialty pharmaceutical or support companies.

The problem of antibiotic resistance (superbugs) has been highlighted by the World Health Organisation, the UK Prime Minister, the President of the USA, the UK Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies and Lord Jim O’Neill, chair of the Government’s Review of Antimicrobial Resistance. David Cameron talked about medicine going back to the ‘dark ages’ if we didn’t tackle this impending health disaster. Antibiotic Research UK is a registered charity (no 1157884) and is uniquely placed to develop new therapies which would be made available to all affected by antibiotic resistant infections throughout the world. It’s first scientific programme has been developed by the charity’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee and further details can be found here -

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