With antibiotic resistance on the rise, scientists are attempting a novel new strategy: crowdsourcing.

The Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery (CO-ADD) is asking chemists to donate samples of novel synthetic compounds in the hope of creating new more-effective antibiotics.

“Pharmaceutical companies are finding it harder and harder to find new drugs, partly because everyone’s screening the same type of compounds,” CO-ADD director Matt Cooper told Scientific American. “We’ve got to start to think of more creative approaches.”

Cooper’s goal is to capture thousands of new compounds that are created on a daily basis that would otherwise never be investigated for medical use.

“Potentially there are up to 55,000 antibiotics waiting to be discovered in the collective chemistry universe, but they’ve never been screened against key pathogens,” Cooper said.

(Source: Scientific American)