CDC partners with HP to "bio-print" antibiotics to fight drug-resistant diseases

In an effort to combat the scourge of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, HP and the CDC are trialing a program to "print" pharmaceutical samples


HP, in conjunction with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has announced a pilot program to start using its printer technology to "print" new strains of antibiotics. The effort is meant to help find and produce new strains of antibiotics in the fight against drug-resistant antibiotics.

Regional Antibiotic Resistance (AR) labs in New York, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin have been equipped with HP D300e Digital Dispenser BioPrinters. This marks the first time HP regional labs have been permitted to conduct rapid susceptibility testing on behalf of hospitals and other health departments across the US.

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Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria is a global public health issue many health professionals are trying to tackle, with incidents like the recent explosion of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea across many parts of Europe. Due to the length of time it currently takes to produce new antibiotics, get it FDA approved and then released to hospitals, many patients are not receiving the medication they need when they need it.

Jean Patel, the science team leader for the Antibiotic Resistance Coordination and Strategy Unit for the CDC, commented on the decision saying: "Bacteria continuously develops new ways to resist antibiotics – once a drug is approved for use, the countdown begins until resistance emerges.

"In fact, resistance has been detected before FDA approval. To save lives and protect people, it is vital to make technology accessible to hospital labs nationwide. We hope this pilot will help ensure our newest drugs last longer and put gold-standard lab results in healthcare providers hands faster," he said.

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