The world is running out of antibiotics, WHO report confirms

[19 September 2017]

A report – “Antibacterial agents in clinical development – an analysis of the antibacterial clinical development pipeline, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis” – launched today by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows a serious lack of new antibiotics under development to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

“This report provides firm evidence which confirms that the clinical pipeline for new antibiotics is extremely weak. This is a major wake-up call for greater investments into research and development for new antibiotics. Support also needs to be targeted towards early-stage research, so that we can start to identify new candidate drugs for development. It is also critical that the biggest and most urgent public health needs receive the greatest attention, first and foremost.

The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) was set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) to develop new or improved antibiotics to develop new treatments for key WHO pathogens and important public health threats such as neonatal sepsis and sexually transmitted infections. In July of this year, GARDP announced a partnership with Entasis Therapeutics to develop a new treatment to address the rapidly-growing threat of drug-resistant gonorrhoea.

Dr Manica Balasegaram, GARDP Director