NUI Galway spin-out company Westway Health has secured €2.5m in EU funding to research the global challenge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The funding will be used to advance the development of the company's lead product in development for the treatment of bovine mastitis.

Westway is bringing to market a product for use in the dairy sector, based on its patented technology.

The company was set up in 2012 to commercialise a breakthrough antimicrobial technology developed in NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences.

According to the World Health Organisation, antibiotic resistance is putting the achievements of modern medicine at risk, pointing out that organ transplantations, chemotherapy and surgeries such as caesarean sections become much more dangerous without effective antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of infections.

Westway CEO Dr Ruairi Friel said his company’s "innovative approach has been to find an alternative to antibiotics.

"The genesis of the idea was knowing that there are other ways to kill bacteria like MRSA.

"This is done every day around the world using disinfectants for example, or through steam cleaning.

"What we have been able to develop is a new method of killing bacteria which does not harm living tissue.

"Our solution is based on a combination of compounds inspired by nature, and if we can develop and scale our solution we believe we can help tackle this global challenge of antibiotic-resistance."