Federal prize competition aims to fight antimicrobial resistance
Contest participants will enter the running for $20 million in prizes. These are given to develop novel, rapid, point-of-care laboratory diagnostic tests that will fight a serious health concern: drug-resistant bacteria.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that at least 2 million infections, as well as 23,000 deaths within the U.S. every year, are attributed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria -- which makes resolving this health crisis a top priority.
“The growing incidence of serious infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria presents a critical risk to the public health of our nation,” NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said. “My hope is that this competition will spur exceptional innovators to rise to the challenge and deliver effective tools to help manage this significant problem.”
Because of the expense of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and because of how these bacteria can be manipulated and used against a population, this contest has become more than a matter of science.
“This effort even goes beyond public health,” Dr. Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for preparedness and response, said. “Combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a priority issue for economic and national security.”
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