Tracking the Pipeline of Antibiotics in Development

Tracking the Pipeline of Antibiotics in Development

This collection page was updated in December 2017 with new content.

Drug-resistant bacteria, or superbugs, present a serious and worsening threat to human health. A majority of doctors have encountered patients with infections that do not respond to available treatments, and when new drugs come to market bacteria can quickly develop resistance. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 million Americans acquire serious infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, and at least 23,000 die as a result. A sustained and robust pipeline of new antibacterial drugs and novel therapies is critical to ensure that new interventions keep pace with these evolving pathogens.

To shed light on the pipeline, evaluate public policies, and monitor the potential impact on public health, The Pew Charitable Trusts tracks products in clinical development globally with the potential to treat or prevent serious bacterial infections. Products fall into two broad categories: antibiotics and nontraditional approaches, including peptide immunomodulators, vaccines, lysins, virulence inhibitors, antibodies, and probiotics.

These analyses are updated periodically and are complemented by research to shed light on the urgent need for new treatments for patients with infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria.

Kids and Antibiotics
Kids Antibiotics
Data Visualization

Antibiotics Currently in Global Clinical Development

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Data Visualization

As of September 2017, an estimated 48 new antibiotics with the potential to treat serious bacterial infections are in clinical development. The success rate for clinical drug development is low; historical data show that, generally, only 1 in 5 infectious disease products that enter human testing (phase 1 clinical trials) will be approved for patients.

Issue Brief

Tracking the Global Pipeline of Antibiotics in Development

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Issue Brief

Drug-resistant bacteria, or superbugs, present a serious and worsening threat to human health. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 million Americans acquire serious infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, and 23,000 of them die as a result.

Nontraditional products
Nontraditional products
Data Visualization

Nontraditional Products for Bacterial Infections

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Data Visualization

As of September 2017, an estimated 33 new nontraditional products with the potential to treat or prevent serious bacterial infections are in clinical development. Below is a snapshot of the current nontraditional products pipeline, based on publicly available information and informed by external experts.

Antibiotics
Antibiotics
Issue Brief

Nontraditional Products in Development to Combat Bacterial Infections

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Issue Brief

While antibiotic innovation—finding and designing new types of antibiotics and improving existing drugs—remains essential to combating antibiotic resistance, “outside-the-box” approaches to preventing and treating bacterial infections are also needed.

Additional Resources

Podcast

The Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance

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Podcast

Nearly a century after Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, bacteria continue to develop the ability to defeat antibiotics. Doctors worldwide are concerned about the spread of superbugs that are resistant to all antibiotics. Host Dan LeDuc visits Fleming’s London lab for some history and talks with Pew’s Allan Coukell about current efforts to reduce unnecessary use of these drugs and encourage development of new ones.