Mr. Andrés McAllister, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Debiopharm international and Professeur Stewart Cole, Ph.D., director of Global Health institute, EPFL, February 27, 6:30 p.m., room SV1717a EPFL. Registration: www.debiopharm.com/academy

Developing new antibiotics: the big challenge in 2014

One of the major scientific accomplishments of modern medicine has been the development of antibiotics and the control of once devastating infectious diseases. Infections that were once lethal became diseases that could simply be cured by a short course of antibiotics. Unfortunately, this major achievement led to the indiscriminate use of the new agents which in turn put a strong pressure on microorganisms to generate new mechanisms of resistance to the new drugs. The plasticity and ever-changing nature of the microbes is now turning into a continuous increase in resistance to available medicines. Diseases which were once easily treated can be again life-threatening.

From the business perspective, drug development companies must take into account financial returns. New antibiotics are often kept aside and only used as the last resort against refractory infections in order to curtail the emergence of resistance. In addition, treatment duration is often short, as opposed to other medical treatments, further limiting the potential for return on investment. These factors make antibiotics much less rewarding financially than other treatments. As a result, research in this area has dramatically declined over the past 25 years and few pharmaceutical companies remain active in the field, despite the vast medical need.

Notwithstanding the challenging scientific, regulatory and commercial environment, Debiopharm is committed to delivering new, more selective antibacterial drugs to address the growing threat of bacterial resistance. This talk will help you better understand what are the key implications for our group.
Registration: www.debiopharm.com/academy

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