Developing a Portfolio of Therapeutics to Combat the Rising Threat of Infectious Diseases
Infectious disease ranks as the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of death worldwide. The worldwide market for anti-infectives is estimated at over $66 billion with anti-bacterials the largest class of drugs in this market with annual sales of approximately $42 billion in 2009. Due to the lack of new drug development in this field, the pipeline of new antibiotics is limited with most late state clinical trial candidates being derivatives of existing classes of antibiotics.
The discovery of novel antibiotics has proven difficult resulting in a steady decline in therapeutic options since bacteria have become increasingly resistant to the currently available classes of antibiotics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of hospital acquired infections resistant to at least one antibiotic is almost 70% and those resistant to three antibiotics almost 40%. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a major public health issue resulting in the closing of several public schools for cleaning and demonstrating that this is a problem no longer restricted to hospitals. In addition, according to the World Health Organization, almost one-third of the world population is infected with mycobacterium tuberculosis of which an estimated 5% is resistant to most antibiotics. No other factor highlights the need for a greater effort into the research and development of novel anti-bacterial compounds than the ever increasing ability of bacteria to rapidly acquire resistance to current and new derivatives of existing antibiotics. The recent identification of a strain of Streptococcus resistant to more than 18 different antibiotics highlights this fact and the obvious need for novel anti-infective compounds like bisphosphocins.
In addition, the emergence of diseases such as SARS and West Nile Virus, the H1N1 Influenza outbreak and the re-emergence of the lethal H5N1 “avian flu” plus increased resistance of organisms to existing therapies, combined with the increased prevalence of food-borne diseases such as E.coli O157:H7 have highlighted the lack of effective therapeutics and/or vaccines to combat many of these diseases. In addition, many experts believe that it is only a matter of time before one of these more virulent pathogens becomes more readily transmissible to humans resulting in a worldwide pandemic or is used as a bioterrorist weapon.In fact, in 2012 a Dutch research organization in collaboration with a US university genetically re-engineered the lethal H5N1 influenza type A virus to make it easily transmissible between humans. The intent of this research was to better understand the mechanisms of transmission of such viruses. Such a virus could develop through the natural pathway of mutations which would almost certainly cause an epidemic causing a major world health crisis.
The opportunity for novel anti-infectives is massive, the need is unmet and the healthcare community is desperate for new therapeutics. Lakewood-Amedex is poised to capitalize on this opportunity and capture a leadership position in the development of novel pharmaceuticals for the treatment of a wide range of infectious disease.