Antibiotics in late clinical development
Most pharmaceutical companies have stopped or have severely limited investments to discover and develop new antibiotics to treat the increasing prevalence of infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria, because the return on investment has been mostly negative for antibiotics that received marketing approved in the last few decades. In contrast, a few small companies have taken on this challenge and are developing new antibiotics. This review describes those antibiotics in late-stage clinical development. Most of them belong to existing antibiotic classes and a few with a narrow spectrum of activity are novel compounds directed against novel targets. The reasons for some of the past failures to find new molecules and a path forward to help attract investments to fund discovery of new antibiotics are described.