Drug resistance is reaching crisis proportions in the US and globally, challenging sponsors to continuously develop new approaches to the treatment of infections.  The incidence of infection with multi-resistant bacteria is on the rise, particularly among patients in healthcare settings. The increased occurrence of other infectious diseases such as those caused by methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus (MRSA), extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL), extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis, cholera, and dengue are also on the rise.1   These types of infections are extremely difficult to treat, leading to increased morbidity and mortality.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US antibiotic resistance costs an estimated $20 billion a year in excess healthcare costs, $35 million in other societal costs, and more than eight million additional days that patients spend in the hospital (see graphic below).

During our recent webcast on “Trends and Considerations in Global Infectious Disease Drug Development”, attendees were asked:  How satisfied are you with how academia, the medical community, and government are confronting the resistant bacterial threat?  Their answers reflect the growing frustration felt by infectious disease professionals.

  • Highly unsatisfied – 15 percent
  • Unsatisfied – 48 percent
  • Neutral – 25 percent
  • Satisfied – 9 percent
  • Highly satisfied – 3 percent

With 63% of our webcast attendees unsatisfied, even highly unsatisfied, with the way academia, the medical community, and government resources are confronting this increasing global threat, we see a huge opportunity for collaboration among these groups to address future development opportunities in this therapeutic area.

On a positive note, barriers to antimicrobial drug development are being reduced in the US and EU.  Recently, the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) act required the FDA to provide extended patent exclusivity for specific new antimicrobial drugs and new guidance to develop drugs for specific MDR bacteria. The European Medicines Agency issued similar guidance encouraging antimicrobial drug development.

To learn more about infectious disease drug development, watch the recorded webcast and be on the lookout for an upcoming eBook.  If you’d like to be alerted when the eBook is available, leave your contact details in the comments section.

1.  Morens D, Fauci A. Emerging Infectious Diseases in 2012: 20 Years after the Institute of Medicine Report. Dec. 11, 2012. Available at: www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/emerging/Pages/introduction.aspx

2. Engel LS. Multidrug-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria: Trends, Risk Factors, and Treatments. Emergency Medicine. Nov.2009.  Available at: http://www.emedmag.com/PDF/041110018.pdf.