The revitalization of the antibiotic drug pipeline


The revitalization of the antibiotic drug pipeline

Published: June 2021

In 2016, a landmark report on the global problem of antibiotic resistance issued a dire warning was issued: “It is fair to assume that over 1 million people will have died from antimicrobial resistance since I started this review in the summer of 2014,” wrote former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill, who authored the report. “As well as these tragic human costs, antimicrobial resistance also has a very real economic cost, which will continue to grow if resistance is not tackled. The cost in terms of lost global production between now and 2050 would be an enormous $100 trillion if we do not take action.”

Five years later, though, the prognosis remains sobering. And the threat is all the more recognizable coming off the heels of our most recent Covid-19 pandemic. Now, with renewed scientific attention being paid to other emerging pathogens — including antibiotic-resistant superbugs — our latest STAT Report explores the factors that have led to the rise of antimicrobial resistance in recent years. It also considers the critical shortcomings in the research and development of novel antibiotic drugs to tackle this resistance, and the solutions for closing that gap.

We hope this report will be of intense interest to readers who want to understand how medicine, science, and public policy intersect in the complex world of antibiotic resistance. It is grounded in months of comprehensive reporting, and takes the measure of a topic that is increasingly vital to people in industry, academia, and politics.

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