Info Service on Health Issues (Jul18/11)
Dear friends and colleagues,
In early July, the Swiss drug company Novartis declared that it was closing down its antibiotic research programme to discover new antibiotics.
This decision has come at a time when new antibiotics are urgently needed to fight infections in the face of the growing number of pan-resistant bacteria.
Before the decision was announced, Novartis was one of only a handful of large pharmaceutical companies (many of which have abandoned the search for new compounds to fight bacterial infections) actively involved in antibiotic research and development.
In 2016, the company was among the 100 or more pharmaceutical and biotech companies which signed the Davos Declaration pledging to invest in research and development of innovative treatments and diagnostics to combat antibiotic resistance.
Big Pharma departed from antibiotics research years ago because there’s little money to be made. The most lucrative drugs target chronic conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psychiatric and other autoimmune disorders.