Accelerating R&D for Pandemic Preparedness and Countering Drug-resistant Pathogens

Students at the University of Colorado are raising awareness about antimicrobial resistance

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ARC Labs

Antimicrobial resistance is a major health crisis humanity faces today affecting both high and low-income countries. The emergence of super bugs and ineffective antibiotics in the face of multi-drug resistant pathogens underscores the need for new antibiotics and new antibiotic classes. In 2013, more that 2 million people were infected by antibiotic-resistant infections every year in ​the US alone, with at least 23,000 succumbing to those infections.

If unchecked, super bugs will be responsible for more than 10 million deaths each year by 2050, far outpacing all other major causes like diabetes, cancer, and road accidents, and its economic impact will reach $100 trillion by that time. Therefore, the goal of Antimicrobial Regeneration Consortium (ARC) is to develop a rapid antibiotic development pipeline to enable high-throughput discovery of therapeutics that will allow targeting of any current or emergent pathogens.

ARC Labs responds to the global issue of antimicrobial resistance by accelerating drug research through taking the burden of fund-raising and outreach, maximizing researcher's time for investigation, and providing a pathway for rapid translation to the bedside. This would allow us to respond to emergent infectious threats in real time.

Our efforts are designed to handle the extreme, thus providing a response to current and future health crises.

A New Game Plan

The ARC Labs model focuses on the strengths of each of the existing spheres of medical R & D. A lot of untapped expertise and potential exists at the academic level, especially in the early stages of discovery. The pharmaceutical industry, on the other hand, coordinates massive amounts of funding to perform clinical trials and scale up established ideas.

ARC Labs steps in to coordinate a dialogue between these two formerly isolated spheres of research and bring medicine and treatments to the patients who need them faster.

Our specialized team takes care of the networking, establishing a consortium of scientists at all points along the pipeline. When your resources and funding bring your development to a standstill, we identify another lab to pick up where you left off, ensuring that revolutionary technologies don't get left in the dust.

Successful platforms spin out of ARC Labs' incubation process into start-ups. As a non-profit, ARC Labs only takes as much of a cut as needed to remain self-sustainable in propping up other innovative technologies.  

What is AMR?

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the biggest global crisis that no one is talking about.

If unaddressed, drug resistant infections are predicted to be responsible for more deaths globally than cancer. AMR describes the development of a microbe’s ability to survive treatment with an antimicrobial as a result of overuse.Usually, this demands higher doses—which are increasingly dangerous to the host patient—or alternative types of antimicrobials—of which we’re running on low supply. Overuse with antimicrobials increases the propensity for bacteria—whether targets or bystanders—to become resistant, meaning if you are unlucky enough to catch a resistant infection, there’s no cure.

With this threat looming over us, one would expect a tight rein on antimicrobials. But in fact, we see the opposite.

Antimicrobials are in consumer products ranging from toothpastes and deodorants to meats and cheeses.  Furthermore, people aren’t talking about it. Irresponsible or uninformed use of antimicrobials shortens the lifetime of effective treatments, ushering us ever faster toward a post-antibiotic era.

The development of new antibiotics demands huge sums of money for relatively small return on investment and the very high risk of resistant strains developing. For this reason, all major pharmaceutical companies have stopped researching and developing new antibiotics, leaving medical professionals on the frontlines to fight increasingly resistant and elusive pathogens with an increasingly attenuating line of defense.


The number of resistant infections each year in the U.S.. Of these, 35,000 people die.


The number of antibiotics without any resistant microbial strains.


The year that the number of deaths from antimicrobial resistant infections are expected to surpass those of cancer.