Ontario Supporting Scientists Develop the Next Generation of Antibiotics

Published on October 07, 2020

Provincial Investment to help Develop Library for Antibiotic Discovery at McMaster University

News Release

The Ontario government is investing $1 million to support the creation of a Canadian Compound Library for Antibiotic Discovery at McMaster University. This investment will help researchers discover and develop the next generation of antibiotics to help combat antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance means that a growing number of infections, such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and food-borne illnesses, are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.

"According to the World Health Organization, antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent health threats facing the world today," said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. "Supporting scientific research to address the challenges of antibiotic resistance will result in discoveries that have the potential to save thousands of lives. By investing in antimicrobial research, we will position Ontario as a worldwide leader and hub for new antibiotic drug research and development."

The provincial investment will support the creation of a Canadian Compound Library for Antibiotic Discovery at the David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery at McMaster University. The research being undertaken will identify a set of rules and guidelines that can be adopted by researchers and the private sector to accelerate antibiotic drug discovery and development, create an antimicrobial chemical library and develop and disseminate online education modules to provide timely information on antibiotic advancements to the public, researchers and clinicians.

"COVID-19 has reminded the world of its vulnerability to infectious diseases, and McMaster is working to ensure that, as a global society, we are able to address that vulnerability and prepare ourselves effectively for the next outbreak. McMaster's new Global Nexus for Pandemics and Biological Threats — of which the David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery is an integral part — will allow the world's top researchers to focus on discoveries that will inform evidence-based decisions. This investment is critical to supporting that work and better preparing Ontario, Canada and the world to respond," said McMaster president, David Farrar.

"Researchers at Ontario universities make discoveries that advance knowledge, drive progress and create a better future for the people of Ontario," said Minister Romano. "Research and innovation are more important than ever as drivers of Ontario's COVID-19 recovery and growth."

Quick Facts

  • Ontario universities’ research and development sector contributes nearly $11 billion a year to Ontario’s economy.
  • The province’s postsecondary and research sector is a key source of innovation and commercialization, making it one of the leading contributors to Ontario’s productivity and economic growth, and a key driver of improvements to health and well-being.
  • Recently, the government announced 35 projects on preventing, detecting, and managing COVID-19 through Ontario’s COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund. The projects focus on a broad range of topics including vaccine development, diagnostics, drug trials, social sciences and mental health supports.

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