Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Despite superbug crisis, progress in antibiotic development 'alarmingly elusive'

18.04.2013
Policy update: Time dwindling to meet IDSA goal of 10 new antibiotics by 2020

Despite the desperate need for new antibiotics to combat increasingly deadly resistant bacteria, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only one new systemic antibiotic since the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) launched its 10 x '20 Initiative in 2010 — and that drug was approved two and a half years ago.

In a new report, published online today in Clinical Infectious Diseases, IDSA identified only seven new drugs in development for the treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacilli (GNB) bacteria. GNB, which include the "nightmare bacteria" to which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerted the public in its March 2013 Vital Signs report, represent the most pressing medical need. Importantly, there is no guarantee that any of the drugs currently in development to treat GNB will make it across the finish line to FDA approval and none of them will work against the most resistant bugs we're worried about today.

"In the past, the 10 x '20 goal would have been considered modest, but today the barriers to approval of nine additional antibiotics by 2020 seem insurmountable," said Henry Chambers, MD, chair of IDSA's Antimicrobial Resistance Committee (ARC). "Some progress has been made in the development of new antibiotics, but it's not nearly enough, and we absolutely must accelerate our efforts."

"We're losing ground because we are not developing new drugs in pace with superbugs' ability to develop resistance to them. We're on the precipice of returning to the dark days before antibiotics enabled safer surgery, chemotherapy and the care of premature infants. We're all at risk," said Helen W. Boucher, MD, lead author of the policy paper and a member of IDSA's Board of Directors and ARC.

Entitled "10 x '20 Progress: Development of New Drugs Active against Gram-negative Bacilli: An Update from the Infectious Diseases Society of America," the paper outlines actions that must be taken to address the synergistic crises of an anemic antibiotic pipeline coupled with an explosion in multi-drug resistant pathogens. A multi-pronged approach is needed, including new economic incentives to encourage antibiotic research and development (R&D); clarification of FDA's requirements for antibiotic approval; increased research funding; improved infection prevention; and new public health efforts including better data collection and surveillance of drug resistance and use of antibiotics. We also need to encourage "antibiotic stewardship," which includes measures that health care facilities, providers and even patients can take to preserve the life-saving power of antibiotics by limiting their inappropriate use.

IDSA leaders have been exploring with other stakeholders specific solutions to address the pipeline problem including the creation of a Limited Population Antibacterial Drug (LPAD) approval pathway to speed drugs to approval as well as new R&D tax credits and reimbursement models. Congressional Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives announced last month their intent to make fixing the antibiotic R&D pipeline a priority for the 113th Congress.

Ironically, at this urgent time of greatest need, the number of pharmaceutical companies investing in antibiotic R&D has plummeted. Pharmaceutical companies typically put R&D resources into the development of chronic disease drugs – including those to treat high cholesterol, diabetes, and cancer – which provide significant financial rewards, partly because they are intended to be taken for long periods of time. Antibiotics, which are intended to be taken for short courses, just can't compete. The results are playing out in real time, with the smaller pharmaceutical company Polymedix – which has one of the seven drugs in development noted in the 10 x '20 paper – filing for bankruptcy protection in early April 2013. Moreover, the policy update reports that only four large multinational companies remain in antibiotic R&D. One of these, AstraZeneca, which has two of the seven drugs in development, plans to reduce its future investments in antibiotics, its CEO, Pascal Soriot, recently announced. The current pipeline of antibiotics is fragile indeed, and the dwindling roster of antibiotic developers has dire consequences for public health, patient care and national security.

New antibiotics are critically necessary to save the lives of people such as Josh Nahum, a healthy 27-year-old man who died from an overwhelming Enterobacter aerogenes infection as he was recovering in the hospital after a skydiving accident. Although his doctors tried desperately to save Josh, they ran out of antibiotics to treat this virulent bug. Read more about Josh's story and the experiences of others whose lives have been devastated by antibiotic resistance: http://www.idsociety.org/Joshs_Story.aspx.

IDSA first warned of the looming antibiotic apocalypse with its 2004 report, "Bad Bugs, No Drugs." Nearly 50 other medical societies and organizations, including the American Medical Association, have endorsed the 10 x '20 initiative so far.

"IDSA is committed to ensuring proper use of currently-available antibiotics to make certain we can continue to count on them. But that is not enough. Simply put, the antibiotic pipeline is on life support and novel solutions are required to resuscitate it – now," said IDSA President David A. Relman, MD. "In the past year, the heads of CDC and the World Health Organization, along with the United Kingdom's chief medical officer, have all sounded the alarm about rising rates of antibiotic resistance. The lack of new antibiotics to treat these potentially life-threatening infections signals the end of modern medicine as we know it."

To see the policy update, which appears in the May 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID), contact Jerica Pitts (jpitts@pcipr.com) at 312-558-1770. See also a fact sheet on antimicrobial resistance here: http://www.idsociety.org/AntibioticResistanceFactSheet-April2013.pdf.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Although the paper published in CID recognizes two drugs approved by the FDA since 2009, the 10 x '20 Initiative was launched in April 2010 following the approval of one of these drugs.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is an organization of physicians, scientists, and other health care professionals dedicated to promoting health through excellence in infectious diseases research, education, patient care, prevention, and public health. The Society, which has more than 10,000 members, was founded in 1963 and is based in Arlington, Va. For more information, see http://www.idsociety.org.

Jerica Pitts | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.idsociety.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance
25.09.2017 | Institut Pasteur

nachricht MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer
25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The fastest light-driven current source

Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.

Graphene is up to the job

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nerves control the body’s bacterial community

26.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Four elements make 2-D optical platform

26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Goodbye, login. Hello, heart scan

26.09.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>