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.