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Antibiotic resistance is a ‘ticking time bomb’
Chemistry World ^ | 13 March 2013 | Ned Stafford

Posted on 03/19/2013 8:48:16 PM PDT by neverdem


MRSA is one of a number of bacteria that are resistant to many antibiotics © Science Photo Library

Global research efforts to develop new antibiotics need to be accelerated urgently, the UK government’s chief medical officer has warned. She adds that that new drugs are desperately needed to fight the ‘catastrophic threat’ of growing antimicrobial resistance.

In the second part of her annual report Dame Sally Davies focuses on antimicrobial resistance and infectious diseases. She says that the development of new antibiotics has stalled since the late 1980s because ‘there are fewer economic incentives’ to produce new antimicrobial agents than for other classes of drugs.

In the meantime, new infectious diseases are emerging every year and diseases thought to be under control are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Describing antimicrobial resistance as an international problem, she says global action and a partnership between the private sector, public institutions and academia is required to mount an effective response.

Time bomb

‘Antimicrobial resistance is a ticking time bomb not only for the UK but also for the world,’ she says. ‘We need to work with everyone to ensure the apocalyptic scenario of widespread antimicrobial resistance does not become a reality. This is a threat arguably as important as climate change.’

‘The low-hanging fruit in antibiotic drug discovery has almost certainly been harvested’
Davies’ call for action comes just a month after the EU’s €2 billion (£1.73 billion) Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) announced the first two antimicrobial resistance projects in its ‘new drugs for bad bugs’ programme. Michael Goldman, executive director of IMI, tells Chemistry World that he was pleased that Davies is raising awareness among policymakers and the public of the threat posed by antibiotic resistance.

‘Chief medical officers are well placed to do this,’ he says, adding: ‘In the EU alone, antimicrobial resistance is responsible for some 25,000 deaths every year, and the annual treatment and social costs have been estimated at some €1.5 billion. If no steps are taken to address these issues, we risk leaving society in a situation where doctors will have few, if any, options to treat bacterial infections.’

Costly endeavour

Efforts to develop new antibiotics have been hampered by scientific and regulatory hurdles, Goldman says, adding that clinical trials are extremely costly because of regulatory requirements and the large numbers of patients required. ‘At the same time, because some antibiotics will only be used on a very small number of patients, the costs of development often exceed the potential return on investment,’ he says. ‘In other words, antibiotic development is simply no longer a financially viable option for pharmaceutical companies, and just a handful of pharmaceutical companies remain in the field.’

The IMI’s antimicrobial resistance research projects will combine the efforts of researchers at universities, institutes and small and medium sized enterprises throughout Europe with large pharmaceutical companies, including Bayer Pharma, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Merck, Sanofi-Aventis and GlaxoSmithKline.

In the first IMI project, announced in February, €194.6 million was allocated to the COMBACTE programme (combatting bacterial resistance in Europe) to develop effective new antimicrobial medicines, including conducing multinational trials at all stages of development. The second project, called TRANSLOCATION (molecular basis of the bacterial cell wall permeability), received €29.3 million to investigate new pathways for getting antibiotics into bacteria and preventing bacteria from expelling them.

WHO to turn to?

Magda Chlebus, director of science policy at the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, says: ‘We believe that the public-private partnership model is one of the best ways to deal with this upcoming health threat as it brings together the best of both worlds, bringing the best outcomes for all European citizens.'

The appeal for global action from Davies has also been warmly welcomed by many in the academic community. Ulrich Schwabe, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, is one of these academics and calls for the World Health Organization (WHO) to take a leading role. 'It is well known that there are tremendous differences in antimicrobial resistance in Europe and also other parts of the world, as well as increasing resistance in big countries like India and China,’ he says. ‘The WHO has long experience in dealing with drug resistance problems in the treatment of malaria, including developing programmes for private and public partnerships for antimalarial drugs.’

A beastly problem

Derek Lowe, a US-based chemistry blogger and medicinal chemist who writes for Chemistry World, agrees that a lack of financial incentives have been a factor in the dearth of new classes of antibiotics in the past couple of decades. But he adds: ‘I'm not sure that the no financial incentives explanation is the whole story.’ As he noted in a recent column: ‘One reason we don’t have new antibiotics against resistant bacteria is that finding one is extremely difficult.’

For example, Lowe notes a Nature Reviews Drug Discovery paper detailing research by GlaxoSmithKline scientists targeting 300 bacterial genes, leading to 70 screening campaigns. ‘They spent a lot of time and a lot of money, and gave it the same effort that a large drug company would give any other first-line therapeutic area, but came up completely empty,’ he says.

He describes the problem of developing new antibiotics as ‘a beast’, adding that ‘the low-hanging fruit in antibiotic drug discovery has almost certainly been harvested by now. We're short of understanding more than anything else. Money for basic research into bacterial targets and bacterial membrane penetration or efflux might be well spent, if we're going to talk financial incentives.’


D J Payne et al, Nat. Rev. Drug Discovery, 2007, 6, 29 (DOI: 10.1038/nrd2201)

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antibioticdrugs; antibioticresistance; bacteria; microbiology

1 posted on 03/19/2013 8:48:16 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Thank you Hillary Clinton for changing vaccine incentives/laws in 93 and 94. Thank you Dan Quayle for focusing on Genetically Modified Organisms , via Monsanto and Michael Taylor who is employed in this current FDA.

Where is the Science?

Better yet... where did the money go from these two decisions?

Follow the money.

2 posted on 03/19/2013 8:58:09 PM PDT by acapesket
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To: neverdem
She says that the development of new antibiotics has stalled since the late 1980s because ‘there are fewer economic incentives’ to produce new antimicrobial agents than for other classes of drugs.

IOW, there's a lot more to be made either keeping things wrinkle free or zoning out kids than there is in stopping infection. We've come purt'near full circle. One of my great uncles died of an infection in a cut on his foot, before antibiotics were widespread.

Silver, honey, and herbs...

3 posted on 03/19/2013 9:04:36 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: neverdem

Oh, MDs and moms (their patients) have been abusing antibiotics for decades. Half a century.

Antibiotics don’t cure, they drive the microorganism deep into the body. Chronic infections are a result of this.

They are very handy in some cases, to prevent permanent damage, for instance an ear infection or a surgical wound. They are handy on the battlefield.

They are used and prescribed in discriminately by docs, the pharmaceutical industry and the silly moms who think drugs are the answer to everything.

They’re so birth contro pill, post abortive stupid they can’t deal with life if the doc doesn’t give them a drug.

There’s no healing involved - most are not interested in health, just in getting rid of symptoms so everyone can get out of the house and let mom go back to work.

We wonder how BO was able to take over a “thriving health industry.

Answer: The researchers are not focused on health - just on feeding an industry that thrives on illness.

BOs plan is exponentially worse, but it is NOT a health care industry and it will collapse one way or another.

4 posted on 03/19/2013 9:07:55 PM PDT by stanne
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To: Smokin' Joe

Yep. But watch that silver, it has permanent side effects if overused.

Lots of fluids.
Epsom salts.
Oh, aloe.
Letting a fever run its course, esp with a virus, but not too high

Eating right - not Mooch’s nor Bloomie’s way, neither of whom eat right- that’s obvious

5 posted on 03/19/2013 9:14:49 PM PDT by stanne
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To: neverdem

This is scary as hell, and as usual, nothing is done about it. The biggest abusers by far are farmers who inject gigantic amounts of anti-biotics into cattle, chicken, etc. And then, of course, we eat them. Maybe farmers think their children will somehow be immune to when anti-biotics no longer work? Or maybe they just don’t give a rats in their chase for money. Hundreds of millions will have to die before anything is done.

6 posted on 03/19/2013 9:23:28 PM PDT by chessplayer
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To: stanne

Honey, herbs, epsom salt, and aloe going to work on an abcessed tooth,,,which can kill?

7 posted on 03/19/2013 9:29:02 PM PDT by chessplayer
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To: chessplayer

No. No.

Abscessed tooth is strictly an antibiotic issue- one of those permanent damage deals

8 posted on 03/19/2013 9:30:29 PM PDT by stanne
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To: neverdem

I’ve read a few articles re: mrsa.....they knew about methicillin resistance in 1961...the staph aureus hadn’t spread around yet...
now its all over the place...part of the problem is that carriers(people) are traveling all over and that many sick folks are housed together

9 posted on 03/19/2013 9:35:26 PM PDT by Getready (Wisdom is more valuable than gold and diamonds, and harder to find.)
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To: Mother Abigail; vetvetdoug; Smokin' Joe; Global2010; Battle Axe; null and void; grey_whiskers; ...
New antibiotics: what's the hold up?

Resurrection of 3-billion-year-old antibiotic-resistance proteins

FReepmail me if you want on or off my combined microbiology/immunology ping list.

10 posted on 03/19/2013 10:22:47 PM PDT by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: chessplayer
The biggest abusers by far are farmers...

It takes two to tango. People want cheap meat. Not that many hunt and fish for their table.

11 posted on 03/19/2013 10:30:17 PM PDT by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem

Oil of Oregano is supposed to kill Mersa on contact. For about $20 a half oz bottle it might me useful for a lot of things. Check it:

12 posted on 03/19/2013 10:59:37 PM PDT by tinamina
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To: tinamina

Thanks for the link.

13 posted on 03/20/2013 3:35:31 PM PDT by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: tinamina

Do you have a link to any double blind studies showing that it cures MRSA or anything else?

14 posted on 03/23/2013 9:05:16 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD

If I had such a link I would surely post it don’t you think? I’m not a researcher except to try and keep myself healthy and perhaps show a link to some info I might have and perhaps believe. Do you have such a link you can provide us with perhaps?

15 posted on 03/24/2013 9:06:42 PM PDT by tinamina
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To: neverdem

MRSA and other antibiotic resistant drugs can be cured. But not with the usual antibiotics. Doctors and the drug companies have created this problem, buy promiscuously prescribing antibiotics. They have also been promiscuously used in agriculture with the bovine and other species use for food.

75 or so years ago polio was cured using a magnesium chloride tonic therapeutically. Previously it was used successfully in treating diphtheria.

We have seen the same magnesium chloride tonic used therapeutically to cure MRSA. We believe it will also work with most other antibiotic resistant infections. Note, this works for both bacterial and viral infections.

This did not ‘fly’ 75 years ago because it did not cost anything and it interfered with the new vaccines. So may thousands of children had to experience iron lungs, and many hundreds of thousands were paralyzed.

Have doctors stopped prescribing antibiotics for colds or the flu? Have the big dairy farms stopped using antibiotics?

No, of course not. Big Pharma would not be at all happy were that to happen.

Need an antibiotic? Try colloidal silver...

16 posted on 03/24/2013 9:45:53 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders.)
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To: tinamina

No and that’s why I asked you. I’ve heard many people touting oil of oregano as a curative. I haven’t seen a single double-blind study to prove it works at all. It would be easy enough to do. Why isn’t it done?

17 posted on 03/25/2013 4:33:39 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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