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Antibiotic pipelines are running dry

Successful R&D (forside) According to Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; 2013), more than 2 million people in the United States acquire serious infections with Multi Drug Resistant bacteria (MDRs; bacteria resistant to one or more antibacterial agents) and at least 23,000 people die from these infections each year. The list of MDR-bacteria is steadily growing. Some of the main ones are Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus (VRE), Extended-spectrum β-lactamase producing Enterobacteriacea (ESBLs), e.g strains of Klebsiella species and Escherichia coli (E.coli); and Carbapenem –Resistant Enterobacteriacea (CRE). All of which are included in the MarBiLeads’ screening panels. 

Corresponding statistics as for US above, are applicable in most other countries, the development of antibiotic resistance has become a serious threat to human health worldwide. At the same time, very few market launches of new antibacterials have taken place the last two decades and there are presently not many in clinical development. Hence, while the medical problem of life-threatening bacterial infections is getting worse, the industries’ antibiotic pipelines are running dry. As documented in the references below, there is an urgent need for new candidate antibacterial drugs.   

“Few New Drugs: Why the Antibiotic Pipeline Is Running Dry”, 2015

We are in a “race against time to develop new antibiotics”, Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2011;89:88–89,

“The resistance rates we saw in the ‘90s were at 10 to 15 percent. Now it’s up to 60 percent in hospitals”. Steve Gilman, CSO, Cubist Pharmaceuticals. 

Antibiotic Pipeline Running Dry”, MedPage Today, 2013;
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“Antibiotic resistance: The drugs don’t work. Running out of ammunition in the war on germs”. The Economist, May 2014;

From European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)/ European Medicines Agency (EMEA) Joint Technical Report (2009):

The bacterial challenge: time to react. A call to narrow the gap between multidrug-resistant bacteria in the EU and the development of new antibacterial agents”.

“Today, emerging and increasing resistance to antibiotics has become a threat to public health in Europe and globally. Only 70 years after their introduction, we are now facing the possibility of a future without effective antibiotics for several types of bacteria that cause infections in humans.” 

There is a gap between the burden of infections due to multidrug-resistant bacteria and the development of new antibiotics to tackle the problem.” 

“A European and global strategy to address this gap is urgently needed.” 

“Infections due to these selected multidrug-resistant bacteria in the EU result in extra healthcare costs and productivity losses of at least EUR 1.5 billion each year”
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“Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, USA), 2013;

“More Americans die each year from antibiotic-resistant bacteria than AIDS, and there are no new drugs coming”, Tim Fernholz for;

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)

Extended spectrum beta-lactamase
(ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae

Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)