American Society for Microbiology Supports Antibiotic Action Campaign

 CONTACT:  Jim Sliwa



WASHINGTON, DC – November 14, 2011 -- The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) welcomes the launch of the Antibiotic Action campaign, in particular its multi-faceted approach in raising awareness about the urgency with which all concerned should address the need to discover new antibiotic agents.  


“ASM is pleased to support Antibiotic Action which brings together stakeholders from across the globe to look at how we stimulate industry R&D in antibacterial discovery and development”, says ASM President David Hooper of Massachusetts General Hospital.  “Infectious diseases are a significant cause of illness and economic loss in the US, UK and worldwide and new diagnostics and therapeutics are urgently needed to stem, control and treat them.  It is through initiatives such as this that we can stimulate debate, raise awareness and hopefully make the difference that is needed”.


ASM, the oldest and largest single life science organisation in the world, has long been concerned about the shrinking industry pipeline of novel antimicrobial drugs and its support of Antibiotic Action mirrors its support of the GAIN Act (GAIN) Act (HR 2182), which seeks to ensure Congress would offer various forms of market protection for drug makers that succeed in developing technologies for preventing, treating, detecting or identifying stubborn and dangerous pathogens, such MRSA. 


“As a physician and academic researcher I am acutely aware of the important role that antimicrobials have played in underpinning and ensuring the success of 21st century medicine.  I am equally aware of the threats posed by bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents and the almost empty antibiotic pipeline, caused by the combined catastrophes of antibiotic resistance and the market failure of antibiotic development,” says Hooper.   “I am pleased to support Antibiotic Action, which complements likewise initiatives internationally, and takes a fresh and strident approach in bringing our many concerns to the attention of governments, medics, and the public.  I urge others to support and sign up to the aims of the this campaign –through our joint actions we can and will bring about positive change and ensure we have effective antibiotics for many generations to come.”


Represented by Gail Cassell, the ASM offered expert advice and evidence to The Urgent Need Initiative, from which Antibiotic Action was born.


Further information on Antibiotic Action can be found online at


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The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.