New antibiotics development : from initial discoveries to therapeutic effectiveness demonstration
Paola Arimondo, Research director and head of the “Epigenetic Chemical Biology” unit at the Institut Pasteur
Philippe Glaser, Research director and head of the “Ecology and Evolution of Antibiotic Resistanc” unit at the Institut Pasteur
The development of new antibiotics or alternative therapeutic strategies represents multiple challenges, from initial discoveries to the demonstration of their therapeutic effectiveness. However, the increasing antibiotic resistance on a global scale makes it a priority.
Fundamental and applied research scientists from the public and private sectors have joined forces to analyze this problem and to propose solutions within the framework of the IRAADD network (International Research Alliance for Antibiotic Discovery and Development https://www.iraadd.eu/). This network, coordinated by Rolf Müller (Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany), was set up with the support of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR). The results of this analysis were published earlier this year as a roadmap in the Nature Reviews Chemistry journal.
This roadmap proposes a research plan to discover and develop molecules capable of dealing with multidrug resistance of infectious agents, involving translational research at the interface between fundamental research and industrial applications. This publication does not only address the scientific and technical dimensions. It also argues for simpler legal frameworks for new molecules intellectual property, as they are often developed through complex collaborations between several organizations. Such a network organization should allow to communicate the urgent need for new and innovative antibacterial drugs, but also to find funding, and to interact with decision makers. This publication was signed by fifty-four authors from twelve different countries, including ten authors from seven French laboratories and the Beam Alliance.
On a national scale, and to meet this need for new molecules, the AntibioDEAL network was created within the framework of the PROMISE professional meta-network. Its objective is to structure French research and development of new antimicrobial agents.
The oxazolidinones were the latest class of antibiotics discovered 20 years ago. The awareness of the need for new antibiotics, as well as the consideration of the environmental, are stimulating more and more research in public laboratories and in small and medium-sized companies, opening up new therapeutic avenues to which the large pharmaceutical groups should also contribute.
 The BEAM Alliance (Biotech companies from Europe innovating in Anti-Microbial resistance research) represents more than 60 small and medium-sized European companies involved in the development of innovative products and kits to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR).