Released last month by The Pew Charitable Trusts, “A Scientific Roadmap for Antibiotic Discovery” discusses why new antibiotics and drug therapies must be developed in the fight against antibacterial resistance, and what is stopping the pharmaceutical industry from taking on this responsibility. According to this report, the number of new drug discoveries has been falling significantly since the 1980s. In fact, FDA approvals for new drugs have decreased from 29 in the eighties to 0nly 9 between the years of 2000 and 2010. So, what are the implications of this stalling of the antibiotic pipeline? Resistance to existing drugs is growing at an alarming rate, and the death toll from anti-microbial resistance grows with it. As stated in the report, the Infectious Diseases Society of America reported that over 60 percent of infectious disease doctors have had patients whose infections did not respond to any existing antibiotic. What’s more, colistin, commonly known as a “drug of last resort” to be used when nothing else works has begun to lose its effectiveness as well.
With knowledge of this imminent threat, Pew put together “A Scientific Roadmap for Antibiotic Discovery” , and in doing so, formulated a series of scientific priorities for antibiotic discovery as well as goals into a detailed strategy for revitalizing the antibiotic pipeline and slowing the exponential growth of antibiotic resistance. Priorities include conducting proof-of-concept studies for non-traditional therapies, sharing data, materials and knowledge across disciplines, and models for antibiotic discovery. Through this report, Pew also provides objectives that show how the listed goals can be achieved.
The findings Pew show in this report indicate that in order to make progress in developing new antibiotics as well as new alternative therapies, collaboration between different sectors of science–academia, industry, government–is imperative. Bringing together leaders from each of these industries to achieve common goals is the best way to ensure a strong attack on antibiotic resistance.
Carolyn Shore, Officer of the Antibiotics Resistance Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts will be joining us this September at the World Anti-Microbial Resistance Congress USA 2016 to discuss their strategy in more detail. Their session will answer the question: could a targeted research initiative jumpstart antibiotic discovery? To hear from Carolyn about tackling scientific barriers that impede new antibacterial discovery, generating knowledge, tools and methodologies to spur innovation, and establishing a framework for sharing information, expertise, and materials across the research community, attend World Anti-Microbial Resistance Congress USA 2016 held September 8-9 in Washington, DC. Click here to download the brochure and learn more about the event.