Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Pathways to antimicrobial clinical efficacy (PACE)

Pathways to antimicrobial clinical efficacy (PACE) aims to accelerate early-stage translational innovation to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR). It will support early-phase antimicrobial and diagnostic projects that address the world’s most threatening pathogens, moving innovations faster towards clinical trials and to people affected by antimicrobial resistance.

£30 million from 2023 to 2028
Funded projects will run for up to two years
Partners involved:
Innovate UK, LifeArc (co-funder), Medicines Discovery Catapult (delivery partner)

The scope and what we're doing

Pathways to antimicrobial clinical efficacy (PACE) brings together Innovate UK, LifeArc and Medicines Discovery Catapult to address the urgent need to grow a pipeline of high-quality precision antimicrobial drugs and associated diagnostics.

PACE will support early-phase antimicrobial and diagnostic projects that address the world’s most threatening pathogens. It will provide innovations for onward investment, moving them towards clinical trials so people with antimicrobial resistance can use them more rapidly.

As well as creating more funding opportunities for researchers and businesses, PACE will also provide valuable advice and support to fast-track preclinical research.

Why we're doing it

The public health impact

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the top 10 global public health threats and an urgent global challenge. According to a comprehensive 2022 study, 1.27 million deaths worldwide were attributable to infections caused by bacterial AMR in 2019. The UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance has estimated this will rise to 10 million people every year by 2050.

Without effective antimicrobials and better, quicker ways to diagnose microbial infections, the success of modern medicine in treating infections, including during major surgery and cancer chemotherapy, would be at increased risk.

The global economic impact

This crisis has the potential to cause substantial economic losses on a global scale. If no action is taken to address AMR by 2050, it is predicted to result in a cumulative economic impact loss of approximately $100 trillion from the global GDP (see Time to act to curb antimicrobial resistance now (WHO)).

The challenge

Developing a new antibiotic involves an arduous and resource-intensive process, taking anywhere between 10 and 15 years and incurring potential costs exceeding $1 billion to bring a new antibiotic to the market. Moreover, there is no guarantee that all new medicines will succeed in clinical trials, adding to the high cost and high risk, making the process even more challenging.

The aim of PACE

PACE will serve as a catalyst to unite the AMR ecosystem, fostering growth in UK businesses and accelerating the development of new life-saving innovations.

Innovate UK, working with partners LifeArc and the Medicines Discovery Catapult through PACE, will mobilise UK and international industrial and research base expertise to combat this ‘silent pandemic’.

Who to contact

Ask a question about this area of investment

Dr Phil Packer, Innovation Lead AMR and Vaccines


Include ‘PACE enquiry’ in the email subject line.

We aim to respond within 7-10 working days.

Last updated: 7 December 2023

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