Antibacterial drugs have saved millions of lives since the first generation of these drugs (sulfa drugs and penicillin) were developed before and during World War II. However, many strains of bacteria have become resistant to one or more antibacterial drugs. In 2004, the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) reported that 2 million Americans acquired infections while hospitalized and approximately 90,000 of those died as a result. Roughly 70% of those infections were caused by bacteria that were resistant to at least one antibacterial drug. While bacterial resistance has been rising, the development of new antibacterial drugs has been slowing, in part, due to the lack of economic incentive for a sponsor company to develop antibacterial drugs. Now there is an urgent need for treatment options for patients infected by resistant bacteria.
The increase of bacterial resistance to existing antibacterial therapies combined with the decrease of research on new antibacterial drugs has led to a serious public health crisis. Antibacterial drug development (ABDD) is a long and costly process due to complex protocols, difficulties with enrolling subjects, completing trials, and analyzing the results. Because antibacterial therapies are prescribed for short periods of time and new antibacterial drugs are not usually marketed until current ones are proven to be ineffective, the return on investment is low. With this lack of economic incentives for pharmaceutical companies, ABDD research has declined.
In support of the FDA’s effort to address the urgent need for new antibacterial drugs, CTTI has initiated projects to address different aspects of ABDD.