ARMSRx Comment:

The global overuse of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture is resulting in their decreased effectiveness, and financial incentives for development of new antibiotics are inadequate.

This is the first of two newsletters that discuss this challenge and identify possible solutions. Note that some articles are dated in 2018 but are still relevant.


Why Is It So Difficult to Discover New Antibiotics?

Over-reliance on and misuse of antibiotics has led to warnings of a future without effective medicines. Why is it so difficult for scientists to discover new drugs?

If the problem is so serious, why, in this age of incredible medical and scientific endeavour and advance, is it so difficult to get the new antibiotics the world so desperately needs?

The answer lies partly in scientific challenge and partly in the broken economy of research and development work.

The path from discovery to clinically approved medicine is necessarily long and the failure rate is high.

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Fixing a ‘Market Failure’: To Develop New Antibiotics, Upend the Incentive Structure, Experts Urge

Superbugs, and our dwindling arsenal of drugs that can successfully combat them, are a serious public health concern. The private sector, however, is largely unwilling to take on the financial risk of developing new drugs that could help. Those treatments bring little if any profit.

But what if U.S. policymakers upended the incentive structure for developing new therapies? What if, for instance, drug makers were granted additional exclusivity in certain situations?

Increasingly, the idea of rethinking models for antibiotic development is animating industry leaders and policy wonks eager to find new tools to combat superbugs.

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Supercharged Antibiotics Could Turn Tide Against Superbugs

An old drug supercharged by University of Queensland researchers has emerged as a new antibiotic that could destroy some of the world’s most dangerous superbugs.

The supercharge technique, led by Dr Mark Blaskovich and Professor Matt Cooper from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), potentially could revitalise other antibiotics.

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