Infectious disease leaders mark ten years since O’Neill Review on AMR

Leading figures from academia and industry will gather in Liverpool in February for a key conference on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) which will mark a decade since the publication of the globally influential O’Neill Review on AMR.

BioInfect 2024, a major AMR conference on February 8th, will welcome keynote speakers including Lord Jim O’Neill, who authored the seminal report in 2014; Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram; and Professor Janet Hemingway, former director of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Director of the Infection Innovation Consortium: iiCON.

The event will recognise breakthroughs in the global fight to combat AMR and opportunities for collaborative innovation within the sector. It will also celebrate the launch of England’s Health and Life Sciences Investment Zone in the Liverpool City Region.

Delivered by the non-profit life sciences membership organisation Bionow, the conference is being sponsored by Appleyard Lees, the Infection Innovation Consortium: iiCON, Evotec, and Bruntwood SciTech, with event partners, iiCON, Influential, and RenewVax Ltd.

Jointly supported by the UK Government and Wellcome Trust, the independent O’Neill Review was commissioned by the UK Prime Minister ten years ago to analyse the global problem of rising drug resistance and propose concrete actions to tackle it internationally.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) attributes almost five million deaths annually to bacterial infections. Annual loss of life globally is expected to reach 10 million deaths by 2050, with an estimated economic cost of $100 trillion. This global impact, coupled with the poor state of research and development investment into new antimicrobials, has led the WHO to designate AMR as one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.

Professor Janet Hemingway, founding Director of iiCON, said: “AMR is the critical global health issue of our time. Without workable antibiotics, we risk being taken back to an era where simple infections could become deadly. This would impact every stratum of society, with operations we take for granted, like caesarean sections or the removal of tonsils, for example, becoming high-risk, where patients lives are in critical danger.

“Bringing experts from varied fields together to share knowledge and develop new approaches is absolutely crucial in this fight against AMR. We need to ensure that industry, research, and policy is aligned so that the development and implementation of new treatments and solutions is supported and enabled.

“BioInfect provides a valuable platform to explore this critical issue, stimulate debate, and encourage collaboration and we’re delighted be taking part in this year’s event, which marks a decade since the O’Neill Review on AMR.”

Dr Neil Murray, CEO of RenewVax Ltd, said: “As the O’Neill Review demonstrated, the UK has been one of the leading players globally in the fight against AMR, but more needs to be done.  Covid-19 is estimated to have killed around seven million people in total, whilst AMR is forecast to kill ten million people each year. The cluster of infectious disease capability in Liverpool City Region and the wider North West is key to our ability to continue to lead the fight against this defining healthcare challenge.”

BioInfect is the North of England’s leading AMR conference and attracted a record-breaking number of delegates in 2023. This year, it will be hosted at The Spine in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter. For more information, visit: