Antibiotics in the pipeline: a literature review (2017–2020)

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Introduction: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an emerging global threat. It increases mortality and morbidity and strains healthcare systems. Health care professionals can counter the rising AMR by promoting antibiotic stewardship and facilitating new drug development. Even with the economic and scientific challenges, it is reassuring that new agents continue to be developed. Methods: This review addresses new antibiotics in the pipeline. We conducted a review of the literature including Medline,, and relevant pharmaceutical companies for approved and in pipeline antibiotics in phase 3 or new drug application (NDA). Results: We found a number of new antibiotics and reviewed their current development status, mode of action, spectra of activity, and indications for which they have been approved. The included studies from phase 3 clinical trials were mainly utilized for the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections, community-acquired bacterial pneumonia, and pneumonia acquired in the healthcare settings. The number of these agents is limited against high priority organisms. The identified antibiotics were based mainly on previously known molecules or pre-existing antimicrobial agents. Conclusion: There are a limited number of antibiotics against high priority organisms such as multi-drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. New antimicrobial agents directed against the top priority organisms as classified by the World Health Organization are urgently needed.

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