Critical analysis of antibacterial agents in clinical development.
Theuretzbacher U., Bush K., Harbarth S., Paul M., Rex JH., Tacconelli E., Thwaites GE.
The antibacterial agents currently in clinical development are predominantly derivatives of well-established antibiotic classes and were selected to address the class-specific resistance mechanisms and determinants that were known at the time of their discovery. Many of these agents aim to target the antibiotic-resistant priority pathogens listed by the WHO, including Gram-negative bacteria in the critical priority category, such as carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and Enterobacterales. Although some current compounds in the pipeline have exhibited increased susceptibility rates in surveillance studies that depend on geography, pre-existing cross-resistance both within and across antibacterial classes limits the activity of many of the new agents against the most extensively drug-resistant (XDR) and pan-drug-resistant (PDR) Gram-negative pathogens. In particular, cross-resistance to unrelated classes may occur by co-selection of resistant strains, thus leading to the rapid emergence and subsequent spread of resistance. There is a continued need for innovation and new-class antibacterial agents in order to provide effective therapeutic options against infections specifically caused by XDR and PDR Gram-negative bacteria.