A growing threat could kill 10 million people by 2050, but one company thinks it can stop it

Our best line of defence against life-threatening illnesses has turned against us. Antibiotics — which we’ve relied on for decades to beat deadly, contagious infections — are set to kill 10 million people by 2050.

After years of abuse in people and animals — with doctors practically doling them out like candy and farmers stirring them into animal feed — antibiotics have virtually stopped working. In January, a woman died after a raging infection that failed to respond to 26 different kinds of antibiotics. The bacteria have outsmarted us, and they’re stronger than ever.

The problem doesn’t end there.

In addition to spurring the creation of more and more powerful infections, antibiotics aren’t good for our bodies. Like a carpet bomb, the drugs attack indiscriminately, neutralising the good bacteria in our guts in addition to the bad ones that make us sick.

A better solution might involve targeting only the infection-causing bacteria, rather than killing everything in our guts and contributing to the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. This is something a new startup called Eligo Bioscience is working toward. On Tuesday, the company secured a $US20 million Series A round of financing led by Khosla Ventures and Seventure Partners, including a $US2 million award from the Worldwide Innovation Challenge. Read more

Erin Brodwin – Business Insider Australia – 28 Sep 2017