innovative antimicrobials

from natural product sources

Who we are

We are a joint venture between The University of Cambridge and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew formed in 2016 to discover and develop new antimicrobial agents from natural products using a new innovative and multidisciplinary collaborative approach and leveraging many decades of combined experience in the field.
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Our Mission

To identify and develop novel mechanism of action natural product candidates and derivatives to address the Global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) crisis.
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Antimicrobial Resistance

The increase in incidence of drug-resistant pathology and the absence of new drugs being developed by big pharma coupled with the long lag time in getting a new mechanism of action drug from early stage development to launch, has led many forums to warn that the world is on the edge of a major Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) crisis.

According to the CDC, at least two million people p.a. in the US acquire serious bacterial infections that are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics, and each year, over 20,000 patients in the US die from such infections.  In the European Union, the annual burden posed by resistant healthcare associated bacterial infections is approximately 2.5 million hospital days and 25,000 deaths.  Similar problems exist throughout the world, and the World Health Organization has declared antibiotic resistance a threat to global health security. The CDC estimates that the excess current annual cost resulting from these infections in the United States is as high as $20 billion.

On 1st December 2017, the UK's Office for National Statistics - ONS reported that antibiotic resistance has caused a fall in life expectancy for the first time.  ONS said that "less optimistic views" about the future had to be taken into account citing fears of the "re-emergence of existing diseases and increases in anti-microbial resistance" as reasons why people will not live as long as was previously expected.

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“Antimicrobial drugs are becoming less effective and the world is not developing enough new ones to keep up. The global costs if we do not take action now could be 10 million people dying every year by 2050, and a cumulative economic cost of around 100 trillion USD.”
O’Neill Report 2016 


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Polypharmakos Ltd

St. John's Innovation Centre
Cowley Road, Milton
Cambridge, CB4 0WS

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