Drug development pipelines for new antibiotics

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  • Thread starter SW VandeCarr
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

The drug development pipelines for new antibiotics have been drying up in recent years just as new challenges from war zones are appearing (resistant gram negative (G-)bacteria such as acinetobacter and imipenim resistant klebsiella sp). Meanwhile methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA) is giving away to vancomycin resistant (VRSA) forms among gram positive (G+)bacteria. In many cases there are no drugs available for some multiply resistant G+ and G- strains and those that are have significant toxicity (mostly renal). While G- infections are still primarily hospital based, G+ infections are established in many communities. Although the problem is not new, the slow down in new drug development is. The following article discusses the issues.


http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/360/5/439

EDIT: I decided to post this after reading about a civilian in the US who just died of acinetobacter infection. It was on the Yahoo home page today. I went back to check it, and it was gone. Perhaps someone else saw it.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #3
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There was a recent New York Times article on this subject. Perhaps it is referencing the death you are talking about:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/business/27germ.html
Yes. That's the article I saw. Thanks Ygggdrasil. The reasons the pharmaceutical industry is not investing more in new antimicrobial therapy for superbugs are related to the high cost and low return for developing such specialized drugs. They nearly all have some level of toxicity and are (properly) held in reserve for the most dire cases because of this and the need to preserve effectiveness.
 
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