Biologics, the world’s leading maker of antibiotics and other drugs, is offering €10 million in grants to help develop and commercialise new treatments for the pandemic.
The new scheme, which will also be available to smallholder farmers and their families, will be funded by the Irish Food Innovation Fund, which has previously supported a wide range of initiatives to boost the agricultural sector.
It comes after the Irish government said it was working with the world-leading maker of the powerful drug, Tivicay, to develop an antibiotic that can be used in small quantities.
The National Health Service (NHS) said last month it would spend up to €5.7 million over five years to help farmers develop their own antibiotic products.
It said the new initiative would help it develop a range of products and to commercialise the technology.
“This investment will give us the ability to support a wide variety of farmers in developing novel and innovative new products,” said Dr John Cavanagh, director of the NHS Food Innovation Centre.
“It will allow us to help grow the food industry and the biotechnology industry in Ireland and across the world.”
We are proud to be supporting farmers across the country and across Europe to make a difference.
“Tivicay is a powerful antibiotic which can treat nearly any bacterial infection.
It is also available in a range by the brand name Ticagrelor.
In January, Ticacon also announced a $4 million investment in research to develop a new drug for streptococcal infections, and a further $2 million for research on the treatment of tuberculosis.
In addition, the company announced it was investing €1.3 million to create a manufacturing facility in China for its next generation antibiotic.
A spokesman for Tivicays global director of medical innovation, Dr Patrick Walsh, said: “We are pleased to be partnering with the Irish Government and other organisations to help address this global pandemic and are delighted to see such a significant investment in our country.”
The new funding will enable us to develop new products that will help improve the lives of people across the globe, including those affected by the pandemics.”
In addition to Ticagon and Tivicaga, TICacon also has products under development in Europe and Africa.
Dr Walsh added that the company had also been working with researchers in China to develop antibiotic treatment that could be applied to a range the bacteria could not survive in the laboratory.
Dr Cavanag said the company would be able to help with the development of these products, as well as other antibiotic products, such as those made by Bayer.
“Ticacon has a long history of research and development of antibiotic products and has helped build a world-class biotechnology and biotechnology company, which is now at the centre of an unprecedented global pandemic,” he said.
“Over the next few years, we expect to be able provide new antibiotics to farmers in Ireland as well.”