NY Times - How to Develop New Antibiotics (Emanuel, E. J.) - Riley's Take

Riley comments: "There are many laboratories across this nation engaged in efforts to find and develop new classes of antibiotics. Unfortunately, with the cut-backs in NIH funding, it is more challenging than ever to obtain funds for what is considered "risky research". NIH panels are conservative - if they have little funding to offer, they tend not to want to give it to the sort of "crazy" ideas that might yield a novel drug. In my own case, I have had to turn to the Chinese government who is now willing to invest hundreds of millions of US dollars to bring our new class of drugs, known as pheromonicins, to market. I agree with the author that a "prize" would help bring this issue to a broader audience - it isn't about the funding for one new drug - it is about our decision as a society to invest in our future health. Consider the difference in funding we have applied to "cure" cancer versus discovering new antibiotics. Now, add to the equation the knowledge that every broad spectrum antibiotic we use seriously impacts our own microbiomes - those thousands of microbial species that inhabit our bodies and help to keep us healthy. We need drugs that target the pathogens and leave the vast majority of the microbiome intact."

Full article available at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/24/opinion/how-to-develop-new-antibiotics...

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