A team led by researchers from the ETH Zürich and the University of Basel has used a combination of mass spectrometry data and machine learning to predict antibiotic resistance of clinical bacterial samples. The results, which were published in the Jan. 10, 2022, issue of Nature Medicine, could speed the identification of optimal antibiotic regimens for patients.
It’s been seven years since economist Jim O’Neill began his review on antimicrobial resistance, commissioned by the U.K. government to find ways to encourage development of badly needed new antibiotics. Since then, the pandemic has produced radical changes in society and forced pharma to refocus its R&D priorities at short notice. But COVID-19 has also raised awareness about the devastating effect that rogue pathogens can pose to society, and there are now serious moves to prevent a global catastrophe caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Antibiotics continue to take a beating as top-line results from Summit Therapeutics Inc.’s phase III study of ridinilazole failed to meet the primary endpoint for sustained clinical response and treating C. difficile infection (CDI). Looking for an upside on its lead candidate’s results, the company noted participants treated with ridinilazole had substantially less recurrence of CDI, the most common cause of diarrhea in hospitalized patients, as compared to those who were administered vancomycin (nominal p-value = 0.0002).
Even as antimicrobial resistance is expected to continue to grow, the development of much-needed novel antibiotics and antifungals remains trapped in a catch-22 in which funding is available for early stage research but not necessarily for the translational work necessary to bring the drugs to market.
Developing the next generation of antibiotics is proving to be a major problem, with research reaching an almost standstill due to a lack of funding because of the poor return on R&D investment from the products.
LONDON – Persica Ltd. is poised to take a new pharmaceutical approach to curing chronic lower back pain, after delivering positive data in a phase Ib study of an injectable antibiotic. The development rests on research showing that, as with stomach ulcers, chronic lower back pain is caused by localized bacterial infection.
LONDON – Adding to the immediate and obvious toll of serious illness and death, COVID-19 seems likely to be fueling development of resistance to antibiotic drugs, according to the findings of the most comprehensive analysis to date.
With the clock ticking on the urgent need to develop new antibiotics, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has given policy makers a sharp reminder that society should not lose focus on antibiotic resistance as well, which has the potential to dwarf COVID-19 in terms of deaths and economic costs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, noted in its Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the U.S. 2019 report that more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result. Against a universal decline in the effectiveness of antibiotics, there has been a renaissance of interest in using phage therapy, whose use has waxed and waned for almost a century.
In July a major initiative of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, designed to combat the rising tide of antimicrobial resistance and accelerate the pace at which new antibiotics are discovered and brought to market, was announced. The $1 billion AMR Action Fund, supported by 23 pharma companies, was created “because there was a clear realization that we have no time to spare to address the lack of innovation in this area,” said Martin Bott, interim general manager of the fund, who described the progress being made with the fund in a fireside chat at this week’s virtual BIO Investor Forum.
PERTH, Australia – Sydney-based Recce Pharmaceuticals Ltd. completed a placement of AU$27.95 million (US$19.69 million) to advance its synthetic anti-infective pipeline to address antibiotic-resistant superbugs and emerging viral pathogens.