All one has to do is a Google search on “antibiotic resistance” or “superbugs” and you’ll soon be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem, the facts and figures, all the talk of the coming Antibiotic Apocalypse.
Article (“Growing Antibiotic Shortages Threaten Patient Care”) after article (“Losing the Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance”) after article (“The Grim Prospect of Life Without Antibiotics”) after article (“World on Verge of Antibiotics Apocalypse”) after article (“Antibiotic Resistance is a Public Health Nightmare—And It’s Not Going to Stop”), after article (“Race Against Antimicrobial Resistance Requires Coordinated Action—An Overview,” after article (“Antibiotic Resistance is Not Theoretical: The Threat is Real and Immediate”), pops up on the computer, illustrating just how dire the need is ("a severe innovation gap') to get newer antibiotics into the pharmaceutical pipeline, and eventually, into the clinical setting.
Governments, the world over—in Britain, the Netherlands, America, India—as well as researchers and academics (ESCMID, IDSA, ASM), the World Health Organization, numerous not-for-profits too (e.g., The Pew Charitable Trusts, Antibiotic Action, ReAct, ARC), all have been sounding the alarm: If we don’t start doing something to address the monumental problem that is mounting antibiotic resistance, and quickly, we’re going to pay for it, dearly. If unaddressed, the worldwide impact of antimicrobial resistance, by 2050, is shocking: Over one hundred trillion dollars in lost GDP, and millions of people dead.
Innovation has one of the "precious few," late-stage antibiotic platforms in development, representing an entirely new class of antibiotics uniquely different from all current systemic antibiotics. Called Host Defense Protein (HDP) mimics, these synthetic small-molecules, modeled after the body’s innate “front-line” of defense, kill bacteria rapidly by piercing their cell walls, thereby reducing the likelihood of resistance forming.
In future posts, we’ll discuss how Big Pharma is getting back into antibiotics. And we'll dig deeper into some of the science behind HDP Mimics—in particular, the company’s lead compound, Brilacidin. We'll explore this novel class of drugs’ vast therapeutic potential, across both its antibacterial and its anti-inflammatory applications.