Concern over threat of antibiotic resistance around the world

 DEVELOPMENT of new antibacterial treatments is inadequate to address the mounting threat of antibiotic resistance, according to the annual pipeline report by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The WHO, in a statement on June 22, said the 2021 report described the antibacterial clinical and preclinical pipeline as stagnant and far from meeting global needs.

It said since 2017, only 12 antibiotics had been approved, 10 of which belonged to existing classes with established mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

“There is a major gap in the discovery of antibacterial treatments, and more so in the discovery of innovative treatments,” said Dr Hanan Balkhy, WHO assistant director-general on AMR.

“This presents a serious challenge to overcoming the escalating pandemic of antimicrobial resistance and leaves every one of us increasingly vulnerable to bacterial infections including the simplest infections.”

According to World Health Organisation’s annual analysis, in 2021; there were only 27 new antibiotics in clinical development against priority pathogens, down from 31 products in 2017.

In the preclinical stage – before clinical trials could start – the number of products had remained relatively constant over the last three years.

More broadly the report described that, of the 77 antibacterial agents in clinical development, 45 were traditional direct-acting small molecules and 32 were non-traditional agents.

The National / PNG Health News 

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