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...

Welcome Guidelines for Managing MRSA in Adults & Children

MRSA has been well documented as a significant cause of both healthcare–associated and community–associated infections. It is the predominant cause of skin infections among patients presenting to the emergency room and can also cause more serious, invasive infections, which account for about 18,000 deaths each year in the United States. “MRSA has an enormous clinical and economic impact,” explains Henry F. Chambers, MD. “Many clinicians often have difficulties when managing these infections. When these patients are not properly managed, the results can be severe. Poor management can also promote antibiotic resistance, which is fast becoming a growing concern among clinicians.” A Framework for Clinicians to Address MRSA In the February 1, 2011 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, an expert panel of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) released its first evidence-based, consensus guidelines on the treatment of MRSA infections. The primary objective of the guidelines was to provide recommendations on the management of some of the most common clinical syndromes encountered by adult and pediatric clinicians who care for patients with these infections. The IDSA expert panel addressed issues relating to the use of vancomycin therapy in the treatment of MRSA infections, including dosing and monitoring, current limitations of susceptibility testing, and the use of alternate therapies for those patients with vancomycin treatment failure and infection due to strains with reduced susceptibility to the drug. “MRSA has an enormous clinical and economic impact. Many clinicians often have difficulties when managing these infections.” “The guidelines provide a framework to help clinicians determine the most appropriate means to evaluate and treat patients with uncomplicated and invasive infections caused by MRSA,” explains...