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 Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>