The introduction of new antibiotics would reduce the number of deaths related to superbugs from 50-55% to 10-15%, according to recent clinical studies presented at the Menarini International Foundation’s International Symposium in Genova. If new antibiotics were to be implemented, 1/3 of these patients’ lives would be saved with more than 230,000 deaths annually averted at a global level.

Each year, infections related to antibiotic-resistant superbugs kill 700,000 people worldwide, according to researchers at the Italian Society of Anti-Infective Therapy (SITA). However, these new molecules are failing to reach patients as highlighted by a recent warning issued by the World Health Organization.

Antimicrobial resistance is a global threat which calls for immediate solutions to be found, and the decline in private investments, and lack of innovation in the development path of new antibiotics will undermine the efforts made to tackle drug-resistant infections, according to researchers. They recommend different levels of institutions and the pharmaceutical industry partner to strengthen efforts and contribute with sustainable investments to the discovery and development of innovative treatments.

Marin Kollef, Professor of Medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine, recommends implementing these practices as soon as possible. “A number of these new molecules have already been approved by the Food Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency,” Kollef said in a prepared statement. “It's clear that there are some issues in their adoption in the clinical practice despite being recognized as lifesaving weapons, as the new cancer treatments are, and should be introduced in therapeutic algorithms to be used properly, in an empiric way, and as earlier as possible to treat critically ill patients for whom a delay in starting the right treatment will impact on mortality rates and clinical outcome.”

Pierluigi Viale, Vice Chairman of SITA, warns the public that regulatory requirements and market access procedures for new antibiotics need to be aligned with those implemented for the newest, most innovative cancer drugs. This would introduce simplified and accelerated approval pathways.


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The antimicrobial crisis: new antibiotics could avert 230,000 deaths per year [news release]. Florence, Italy; PR Newswire: January 30, 2020. Accessed January 31, 2020.