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Progress Elusive for New Antibiotics

Progress Elusive for New Antibiotics

There has been a desperate need for new antibiotics to treat infections caused by multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacilli (GNB) bacteria. In 2010, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) launched its 10 x ’20 Initiative, which established a goal to develop 10 new systemic drugs to treat infections caused by resistant GNB bacteria by 2020. Unfortunately, there are still many barriers to the approval of these needed additional antibiotics, and it’s highly unlikely that these new drugs will be developed by 2020. Accelerated Efforts on Antibiotic Development Needed According to recent data, only seven new drugs are currently in development for the treatment of infections caused by GNB bacteria. Since the IDSA’s 10 x ’20 Initiative, only one new systemic antibiotic has been approved. There is also no guarantee that the drugs currently in development will actually gain FDA approval or will work against the most resistant bugs. While some progress has been made, ground is still being lost because new drugs aren’t being developed quickly enough to keep pace with antibiotic resistance.   At this time of greatest need, the number of pharmaceutical companies investing in antibiotic research and development (R&D) has decreased substantially. Only four multinational pharmaceutical companies have engaged in antibacterial discovery. R&D resources are typically strongest for developing drugs for chronic disease like high cholesterol, diabetes, and cancer. These drugs can provide significant financial rewards, partly because they’re intended for use for long periods of time. Antibiotics are a different story because they’re intended to be taken for shorter courses. This has made it less appealing for the pharmaceutical industry to use R&D resources for such...
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