The unmet medical need of antimicrobial resistance
The development and spread of antimicrobial resistance is a complex issue to which the costs of inaction are huge. A recent review on antimicrobial resistance commissioned by David Cameron has underlined that this issue is one of the biggest health threats that mankind faces now and in the coming decades (see here, a report that we highly recommend to read!). Today, 700,000 people die of resistant infections every year and it is estimated that by 2050, 10 million lives a year are at risk due to the rise of drug-resistant infections. Additionally, it has been shown that the antibiotics that have been recently approved, and those at various stages of development, show a mismatch between what the world needs, given emerging levels of drug resistance, and the size and quality of the pipeline to address this growing challenge. In particular, there is a critical need for new classes of antibiotics, acting via novel biological pathways.
At Calixor Pharma Consulting, we are advising a recently incorporated start-up that is investigating a novel biological target that is essential for DNA replication and repair and for the maintenance of genomic stability in pathogenic bacteria. It is believed that small molecule inhibitors of this biological target have the potential to kill Gram-negative bacteria. In February 2017, WHO published a list of bacteria for which new antibiotics are urgently needed (see here) and this drug discovery programme is targeting several bacteria from this list.