After 30 Years Of Stagnation, Big Pharma Jumps Back In Antibiotics Game. But Is It Too Late?
Developing antibiotics isn't profitable. But with the looming threat of resistance sparking concerns globally, pharmaceutical companies may be starting to pay attention.
Inside The 10-Year, $1 Billion Battle For The Next Critical Antibiotic
In a cramped lab in rural Pennsylvania, surrounded by technicians in obligatory white lab coats and fume hoods leaking an occasional acrid smell, Neil Pearson holds up a plastic model of a chemical compound that resembles a spidery piece of Lego. Pearson, a 54-year-old chemist and senior fellow at British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithkline Plc, explains how he spent more than a decade tinkering with chemical compounds before engineering a molecule that may yield the industry’s first truly new antibiotic in 30 years to fight the rise of superbugs that risk killing an extra 10 million people every year by 2050. (Baker, 9/20)
Antibiotic Resistance Takes The World Stage
The United Nations will hold a high-level meeting Wednesday on antibiotic resistance — placing the largely invisible issue on par with HIV and Ebola as a burgeoning global health crisis. Some predict it will be a breakthrough moment for a growing problem that already kills 70,000 people a year, bringing attention to it in a way that could push the FDA and Congress to take the needed additional steps to end political and regulatory gridlock. Though influence from both the powerful agriculture and drug industries have weakened past efforts, more and more industry groups are at least starting to acknowledge there’s a problem. (Kullgren, 9/21)
The Washington Post:
‘Superbug’ MRSA May Be Spreading Through Tainted Poultry
A new form of a dangerous "superbug" may be spreading to humans through contaminated poultry that people handle or eat, according to a study published Wednesday. Researchers focused on a newly identified strain of the bacterium known as MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, that they found in people in Denmark. Although most individuals who become infected with MRSA don't get it from food, the study suggests that this poultry-associated strain may be more easily transmitted from food to people. (Sun, 9/21)