2016, what a year

15 Dec 2016

Written by Longitude Prize Team

It has been an active and newsmaking year in many ways. For the Longitude Prize and the global health community, headlines about the Zika virus, recommended alcohol consumption limits and heated political debates about universal health insurance coverage, make our efforts to improve health all the more important. For those of us working specifically in antibiotic resistance, it’s been a year of great strides. Here’s our pick of highlight news and events:

The AMR Review

Lord Jim O’Neill’s influential series made the headlines report after report, emphasising different aspects of the AMR fight. From the drug supply chain to the role of vaccines in reducing demand, the reports made a strong case for investments in AMR research and development, including diagnostics. Learn more.

Discovery Awards

In May we launched our seed funding programme to help teams advance their ideas and be able to submit applications for the Prize. After reviewing over 70 applications from 19 countries, we awarded 12 winners from India, the UK and the US at the Royal Society. That same evening we announced that thanks to new funding from Merck & Co., we will be able to launch a second round in January 2017.


In July we launched our mobile game for kids and teenagers to help grow understanding among age groups who will be making healthcare decisions in the future. We’ve showcased the game at events like the Science Museum’s Lates and New Scientist Live, and have more in the pipeline. It’s free and available now for Android and iOS phones and tablets. How long can you survive against the superbugs?

AMR at the UN General Assembly

History was made in September as AMR was the subject of a UN High Level Meeting, only the fourth time in history for a health topic. And we were there! 193 member countries signed a declaration committing themselves to tackle the AMR crisis, with a specific commitment to focus on innovative ways to improve diagnostics.

Chris Bond wins Rio Paralympic Gold

We learned Chris’ story earlier this year: a resistant sepsis infection that arose during leukaemia treatment meant his limbs became gangrenous and doctors had no choice but to amputate. This devastating turn of events meant the former athlete and rugby player faced a very tough road ahead, but he didn’t let his disability stop him from playing his favourite sport. Chris joined the wheelchair rugby national league, and became so good at it that in 2012 the Steelers, his team, won Paralympic Gold in London. Earlier this year, they defended their title and took another gold in Rio. Chris’ story continues to inspire us!

Thank you to all our partners and supporters who have worked with us this year to continue the fight against rising resistance. This problem affects us all, everywhere in the world, and we must continue to work together in 2017 so we can conserve antibiotics for longer and for everyone.