WHO: The world has a serious lack of new antibiotics under development

The world has a severe lack of new antibiotics being developed to combat antimicrobial resistance, according to a recent report by the World Health Organization.

Although there are 51 antibiotics in clinical development to treat antibiotic resistant pathogens, only eight are classified as innovative treatments that could potentially add value to the portfolio of drugs currently on the market as most are modifications of existing antibiotics. The modified antibiotics will only provide a short-term solution, according to a news release.  

The report also found that there are few oral antibiotics under development, which proves a problem for treating infections outside of hospitals or in resource-limited settings.

"Antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency that will seriously jeopardize progress in modern medicine," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, director-general of WHO. "There is an urgent need for more investment in research and development for antibiotic-resistant infections…, otherwise we will be forced back to a time when people feared common infections and risked their lives from minor surgery."

The WHO identified 13 classes of priority pathogens that are increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics and in dire need of new treatments.

The report, titled "Antibacterial agents in clinical development — an analysis of the antibacterial clinical development pipeline, including tuberculosis," reviewed therapeutic entities that are in phase one to phase three clinical trials and do not have market authorization for human use.

To read the full report click here

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