Big Pharma has largely exited the antibiotics arena in the past several years, contributing to the dearth of products in the global pipeline as rising antimicrobial resistance becomes a very real public health threat.
Now, just a few companies--among them, Cubist Pharmaceuticals--remain in the antibiotics space. The Lexington, MA-based company in June won FDA approval for Sivextro, an antibacterial drug to treat a range of skin infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Now it's on the way to its second drug approval of the year with the combination antibiotic ceftolozane/tazobactam, designed to fight complicated urinary tract and intra-abdominal infections.
With several other candidates in the pipeline, Cubist is succeeding in a field that others have fled. FierceBiotechResearch talked to Ronald Farquhar, senior vice president of discovery and pharmaceutical sciences at Cubist, about the unique preclinical challenges that developing antibiotics presents.
Appointed to the post in October 2013, Strohl joined Johnson & Johnson in 2008 as senior director and head of antibody drug discovery for Centocor, the former name of Janssen Biotech.
Strohl told FierceBiotechResearch in an interview that Janssen's biotech center is shifting its focus from immunology--which was its top focus several years ago--to oncology as its No. 1 disease priority, with the immunology and cardiovascular metabolism fields coming in at a second-place tie.
At the request of Congress, in 2008 NIH began releasing to the public how much the agency spends in various research categories. I decided to pick out the top-funded disease areas to get a sense of what disorders and diseases the U.S. government is prioritizing. The red and green arrows indicate whether categories had a decrease or bump in funding from the previous year, respectively.
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