The antibiotics have been extensively used for the treatment of microbial infections, including cholera, pneumonia, typhoid, malaria, and syphilis. Antibiotics are antimicrobial drugs that are designed particularly to fight diseases that occur due to bacteria and have shown effective results in treating a broad range of infectious diseases. However, the prolonged use of such drugs result in antibiotic resistance, creating problems in the treatment of diseases in future. The development of antibiotic resistance strains, also known as superbugs, is a major cause of concern across the globe. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 5.2 million people in the Western Pacific Region will die from antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by 2030. The WHO has declared AMR one of the top 10 global public health threats.
In the past few decades, only fewer antibiotic drugs have been developed because the process of drug development is arduous and time-consuming. To address the concern, several pharmaceutical players have to come up with innovative approaches to mitigate the problem of antimicrobial resistance. Several antibiotics market players, including ABAC Therapeutics, Bristol Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Meiji Seika Pharma, and Pfizer, are actively engaged in dealing with antibiotic resistance.
What is Antibiotic Resistance?
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when a microorganism such as bacteria or fungi develops resistance against antibiotic treatment. Examples of antibiotic resistance bacteria include Staphylococcus aureus and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Drug resistance develops either due to overuse or misuses of antibiotics or creating a favorable environment for microorganisms the development of resistance towards the particular drugs. The key driver of antibiotic resistance across the globe includes prolonged use of the particular drug, overuse and inappropriate use.
Why is Antibiotic Resistance a Global Concern?
The emergence of multi-drug resistant bacteria continues to threaten the lives of people worldwide. The World Health Organization also listed antibiotic resistance as a major cause of concern because it creates problems in the treatment of diseases—ultimately leading to millions of deaths worldwide. Without effective antibiotics, medical procedures such as cesarean sections and cancer chemotherapy will be risky.
Furthermore, the antibiotic market pipeline for the development of new antibiotics is dry, as the development of the drugs requires data compliance, development, clinical trial, and commercialization, which are time-consuming processes.
If the rising antibiotic resistance is not addressed on time, there is a great risk of spreading infection that can be fatal. Driven by this factor, there is a huge demand for new antibacterial drugs because antibiotic shortages can cause difficulty in the treatment of patients with chronic infections.
What Are The Present Challenges in The Antibiotic Market?
Notably, the continuous usage of antibiotics to use infection has resulted in the development of multi-drug resistant bacteria━creating trouble in the treatment. Some other challenges faced by companies include;
§ Development of Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria
Antibiotic resistance is a problem in the treatment of particular infections and leads to higher medical costs, increased mortality rates, and prolonged hospital stays. Over time, some microbes turn into multi-drug resistance bacteria or superbugs that cannot be treated with a common antibiotic approach. Examples of pathogens with multi-drug resistance are non-typhoidal Salmonella, Klebsiella pneumonia, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The antibiotic market players have to implement a novel approach to develop advanced antibiotic solutions because antibiotic resistance can happen with newly developed drugs.
§ Dried Pipeline for New Antibiotic Development
The antibiotic market faces problems in the development of novel drugs because of the high investment associated with the research and licensure process. The complexity of the clinical trials is also a major cause of the dried pipeline as it requires enrollment of volunteers, and some trials often lead to failure—resulting in the end of the investment. The traditional drug development process is tedious, time-consuming, and has the risk of higher toxicity. Lack of innovation and technology adaptation are other reasons companies face problems in designing new antibiotics. To address the concerns, the antibiotic market has to come up with unique ideologies, partnerships, and collaborations to provide better therapeutic drugs to deal with antimicrobial resistance.
What Are The Solutions to Deal With Antibiotic Resistance?
The development of new antibiotics is not the solution because pathogens may again develop resistance against the drug. In order to address the challenges mentioned above, antibiotic market players have to focus on finding innovative solutions.
1. Precision Medicine
The antibiotics market has shifted to the adaptation of precision medicines. The tailored treatment approach uses molecular information- proteomic, genomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomics— to help researchers get better insight into the disease and the type of treatment that helps to cure the patient.
2. Collaboration Helps to Find New Solutions
Antibiotic drug development requires massive investment and an innovative approach. To mitigate the problem, several antibiotic market players have undergone partnerships and collaborations to provide a new direction for antibiotic drug development. Some of the recent partnership between the key players in the antibiotic market includes:
▪ In August 2023, Bugworks Research collaborated with Global Antibiotic Research and Development to boost the production of antibiotic compounds for the treatment of severe infection that occurs due to multidrug-resistant bacteria.
▪ In May 2023, Melinta Therapeutics signed a licensing agreement with Xediton Pharmaceuticals with the motive of launching BAXDELA®, ORBACTIV®, KINYSRA® and VABOMERE® in Canada.
▪ In October 2022, Merck signed an agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute to license their two preclinical antibacterial candidates for evaluation as a potent component of a combination procedure for the treatment of tuberculosis.
3. Advance Therapies
Scientists are looking for novel therapeutic solutions such as immunotherapy, phage therapy, Microbiome-based interventions, combinational therapies, and target-specific therapies. The therapies help to treat patients suffering from infection caused by multi-drug-resistant bacteria.
Antibiotic resistance is a cause of concern worldwide and demands a global response. To address the concern, pharmaceutical players are embracing advanced solutions and technologies to mitigate the risk of antibiotic resistance. Through tech-driven tools and international collaborations, researchers must come up with precise solutions to provide ideal treatment for the patient.
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