Kenyan Microbiologist Celebrated in Berlin for Developing Drug to Treat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Infections

Ryan Musumba Awori receiving his award from Dr. Helmut Blumbach, Director of DAAD Regional Office for Africa at the Falling Walls Lab of Kenya on 13 September 2016 in Nairobi.

A Kenyan microbiologist and innovator was this week celebrated at the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin for the innovative super drug, he developed that works six times better than most antibiotics currently used in the market.

Ryan Musumba Awori a scientist by profession and microbiologist by training, presented Mursamacin, a capsulated drug that treats antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. The drug is obtained from the red volcanic soils of Central Kenya is to be used as an open wound medical ointment to promote the healing process. Mursamacin works 6-fold better than the two best antibiotics used globally in treatment of open wounds, namely Augmentin and Ceftriaxone.

The drug is expected to be ready for the market in the next five years once it gets approval.

The antibiotic is the result of a collaboration between Mr Awori and researchers at Trek Science, a start-up biotech company, in partnership with the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), the University of Nairobi and the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KARLO).

Ryan had in September been declared the winner at the very first Falling Walls Lab of Kenya in Nairobi, for his presentation titled “Breaking the Wall of Antimicrobial Resistance”.

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