What’s cooking in the antibiotic pipeline?
The current pipeline
In September 2018, The Pew Charitable Trusts updated their data visualization of antibiotics in clinical development. In their latest assessment of the antibiotic pipeline, they found 42 antibiotics in clinical development and two antibiotics that had been approved since the last revision. Of the 42 drugs in development, 15 were in phase 1, 12 were in phase 2, 11 were in phase 3 and four have been submitted to national medical authorities.
At least 19 of the drugs are expected to be active against the ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter spp.) that are considered of special interest due to high levels of antibiotic resistance. 21 of the drugs are expected to be active against pathogens on the CDC urgent pathogens list or WHO priority pathogens list with 13 drugs currently targeting pathogens classified as critical needs by WHO. Of these, 8 are beta-lactamase inhibitors, adjuvant drugs that are combined with a beta-lactam antibiotic such as a cephalosporin or a carbapenem, acting on one of the major resistance mechanisms leading to restored susceptibility to the antibiotic.