ARMSRx Comment:

The prior newsletter focused on the challenge of antibiotics losing resistance, discussed some possible modifications of market incentives and offered a ray of hope.

This issue describes a global effort to reduce antibiotic use as well as two exciting scientific developments in the effort to develop alternative products. The third article is quite technical but is included because it describes a new class of antibiotics.

U.S. Pushes Global Effort to Fight Antibiotic Resistance at UN Meeting

At least 23,000 Americans and 700,000 people globally die every year from AMR infections – but this number is believed to be on the low end. A recent UN report warned that AMR (antimicrobial resistance) could kill up to 10 million people worldwide per year by 2050 if action isn’t taken.

What’s new: In the year since the U.S. government and its partners launched the AMR Challenge, there’s been progress made, Azar said.

* The CDC collected nearly 350 commitments from 33 countries to escalate efforts via government and private sector to lessen antibiotic resistance.
* These commitments are from drug and health insurance companies, food animal producers and purchasers like McDonald’s and Yum!, doctors and hospitals, government health officials, and other leaders from around the world.

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New Antibiotic Packs a Punch Against Bacterial Resistance

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have given new superpowers to a lifesaving antibiotic called vancomycin, an advance that could eliminate the threat of antibiotic-resistant infections for years to come. The researchers, led by Dale Boger, co-chair of TSRI’s Department of Chemistry, discovered a way to structurally modify vancomycin to make an already-powerful version of the antibiotic even more potent.

“Doctors could use this modified form of vancomycin without fear of resistance emerging,” said Boger, whose team announced the finding today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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A New Class of Antibiotics to Combat Drug Resistance

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Nosopharm, a biotechnology company based in Lyon, France, are part of an international team reporting on the discovery of a new class of antibiotics.

The antibiotic, first identified by Nosopharm, is unique and promising on two fronts: its unconventional source and its distinct way of killing bacteria, both of which suggest the compound may be effective at treating drug-resistant or hard-to-treat bacterial infections.

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