Prevalence of bacterial infections and diseases is especially high in third world countries and significantly hampers quality of life across the globe. Further adding to the woes of the affected population is the increasing strains of bacteria that are resistant to conventional antibacterial drugs. The epidemic of antibacterial resistance has spurred interest among the global healthcare organizations and a few pharmaceutical companies and research institutes to develop next-generation antibacterial drugs to effectively thwart such maladies. Unregulated and over prescription of antibacterial drugs has led to increased drug resistance. Moreover, genetic mutations are considered to be another major reason for antibacterial drug resistance. Ironically, these factors have greatly constrained the growth of antibacterial drugs market for years.
Invention of Penicillin was a major breakthrough for treating bacterial infections. This stimulated research for more antibacterial drugs to treat different bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Enterococcus species. However, price control and decreasing financial incentives discouraged pharmaceutical companies to conduct further research in this field. This has limited treatment options for bacterial infections, while discovery of new strains of infectious bacteria is on rise. Below is the timeline of antibacterial drug discovery:
The timeline highlights the large void in introduction of new antibacterial drugs during period 1960–2000. Streptomycin, sulfonamide, macrolide, nalidixic acid, aminoglycoside, tetracycline, and linezolid are among the bacterial resistant drugs.
Prospective drug candidates in research to improve the future outlook of the global antibacterial drugs market
The global antibacterial drugs market potential is estimated based on the current antibacterial drug classes, including those mentioned above and those in clinical trials. As of March 2016, there are around 37 drugs in clinical development for treating serious bacterial infections. These drugs are intended to be primarily launched in the U.S.
Moreover, FDA is encouraging development of new antibacterial drugs by laying out guidelines for the industry on the types of clinical studies to be conducted on antibacterial drug evaluation. This factor coupled with various incentives for research companies would create a positive outlook for the global antibacterial drugs market in the near future.
Also, in March 2017, the WHO released a list of pathogens, classified based on the criticality/urgency, for which newer antibacterial drugs are required. The different environmental forces working towards development of newer antibacterial drugs would be a major continuing factor for the global antibacterial drugs market growth.
Alarming rise in drug resistant strains of bacteria driving awareness initiatives and programs by global healthcare organizations to back companies in the antibacterial drugs market
According to the Centers for Drug Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), every year at least 2 million people in the U.S. acquire bacterial infections that are resistant to drugs. Antibacterial resistance results in 23,000 deaths every year in the U.S. Moreover, according to the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net) data of November 2016, antibiotic resistance is higher in southern and south-eastern Europe than in northern Europe.
Multiple drug resistance, as in case of tuberculosis, has further aggravated the treatment for specific conditions. According to the World health Organization (WHO), India has the highest burden of TB worldwide. Furthermore, the MDR-TB cases resistant to second-line drugs was 16% among already treated cases reported in 2015. Globally, an estimated 480,000 people developed MDR-TB in 2015 (WHO). The Government of India has drafted a national Strategic Plan 2017-2025 for eradicating TB in India. This would further propel the antibacterial drugs market in India.
The WHO has carved a ‘Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance’ in 2015 to fight against growing antibacterial resistance. CDC is also working in close collaboration with healthcare providers, pharmaceuticals companies, farmers, agriculture and environmental specialists, and representatives from Federal agencies to monitor, and control the prescription and use of antibacterial drugs. Such initiatives are expected to hold drugs for the future generation until the new drug launch and thus drive the antibacterial drugs market.
Some of the major players in the global antibacterial drugs market are Pfizer, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca plc, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Merck & Co., Inc., Evotec Pharmaceuticals, Allecra Therapeutics, Kyorin Pharmaceutical, and Allergan plc.