ARMADA Launches Global Attack on Antibiotic Resistance

A new non-profit initiative intended to radically curb the
devastating rise of antibiotic resistance has launched from Seattle and
is already gaining ground worldwide with more than 50 clinical and
academic institutions across 20 countries expressing interest in joining
the effort. Hollywood actor Bill Pullman has also joined
the effort as both Advisory Board member and Spokesman, quoting
his long-standing family history of medical professionals and advocacy.

ARMADA,
the Antibiotic Resistance Monitoring, Analysis and Diagnostics
Alliance, will be a publicly supported Global Biobank that will for
the first time combine big-data and rapid bacteria tracking approaches
to create a virtual “shield” against multi-drug resistant superbugs,
helping doctors to protect their patients and communities alike.

“The threat of the recent rise in antibiotic resistance is very real,” said
Pullman. “If we don’t act now, drug resistant bacteria will have
more and more devastating effects on us and our families, potentially
killing more people than cancer and diabetes combined. But we need
everyone’s help in this fight!”

Each year in the USA alone, at least 2 million people are infected
with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics (CDC
report) and more than 100,000 people could be dying each year
as a direct result of these infections (IDSA).
Babies, the elderly, diabetics, and patients with weakened immune
systems are the most impacted. According to some estimates, if
no action is taken, up to 300 million will die worldwide from antibiotic
resistant infections by 2050 (O’Neill).
Despite the rampant spread of antibiotic resistant bacterial strains,
they are not being tracked in real time and, therefore, not identified
as such before the antibiotic is given to a patient.

“Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent threats to public
health with current treatment failing in as many as 15 to 50 percent
of patients,” said Evgeni
Sokurenko, MD, Ph.D., ARMADA Advisory Board Member and Professor of
Microbiology at the University of Washington. “We believe
this can be reduced drastically as we aim to help doctors choose
more accurate and personalized antibiotic treatment when patients need
it the most.”

To combat this threat, ARMADA will work with hospitals, doctors, and
scientists around the world to collect an unprecedented number of
bacterial isolates and their “criminal” history across patients, healthy
carriers, animals, or the environment and use them to map the entire
current spectrum of superbug strains. At the same time, these
bacteria will be genetically “fingerprinted” in order to help develop
surveillance and diagnostics tests to quickly identify the infecting
strains and the best way to treat them in patients.

MEDIA: For more information on ARMADA and to download
hi-resolution images and video, visit ARMADA’s
Dropbox here.

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