The antibiotic ‘discovery void’

The last new class of antibiotic was discovered in 1984, and since the early 1990s there has been a ‘discovery void’ in the development of antibiotics. Drug development is a complex process and inherent challenges including complex science, lack of sufficient return on investment and strategic changes in therapeutic areas for drug discovery led to the abandonment of countless antibiotic discovery programmes. Today, it is imperative that these programmes are revisited, as technological advances, changing needs and an evolving disease landscape means it may be time to revive them.

The Antimicrobial Memory Recovery & Exploratory Programme aims to recover the knowledge, data, and assets of forgotten, abandoned, or withdrawn antibiotics while the search for new classes is pursued, and a new generation of researchers in antibiotic R&D is championed.

Joining forces with experts

Experts’ engagement, both former and present, is vital: they can help swiftly identify promising compounds and identify and overcome antibiotic R&D roadblocks to recover programmes that may help to expand the antibiotic discovery pipeline.
Hear from the experts supporting the Memory Recovery & Exploratory Programme

REVIVE is an online space for the antimicrobial R&D community to educate, connect, and share.

Programme objectives

Primary objectives

  • Build a global, leading panel of world experts in antibiotic drug discovery and development with industry and academic background
  • Together with the expert panel, identify drug opportunities, including ‘early-stage, forgotten and abandoned’ antibiotics, to lead to the development of 1-2 New Chemical Entities in pre-clinical or clinical development

Secondary objectives

  • Create an online hub to facilitate access of young scientists with an interest in antimicrobial discovery to experts
  • Launch a training curriculum in antibiotic discovery with specific guidelines, protocols and standard operating procedures up to the planning of clinical trials
  • Support international training courses in antibiotic discovery and development
  • Design and implement a repository of chemicals, assay reagents, assay strains and bacterial pathogens accessible to everyone with an interest in antimicrobial discovery

Antimicrobial Memory Recovery Programme



More information:

Read a snapshot of the programme  English Deutsch


February 2018 Update

To date, the memory recovery programme has identified over 400 experts, 120 of whom have agreed to participate in the ‘REVIVE’ hub, an online space for the antimicrobial community to connect. Live webinars and workshops are planned for 2018. In addition, five pharmaceutical companies have shared assets with GARDP, with 20 ‘recovered’ molecules being actively explored. To pool efforts towards developing new antibiotics and to avoid duplication of efforts, collaborations are being built with similarly focused entities and funding bodies such as CARB-X.

To further the exploratory programme, two expert meetings have been held to help define clinical needs and possible activities. An outline programme strategy was approved by the Scientific Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors. This is now under active development. Discussions are ongoing with individual companies and academic groups about innovative discovery approaches. Collaboration agreements are in progress with academic and private sector groups to support specific exploratory and discovery initiatives.