The reality is that most pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies are leaving this market. If a company decides to develop antibiotics they will lose. I’m not saying that startups aren’t trying to develop new antibiotic drugs. Companies that make antibiotics face bankruptcy.
Have you heard of Melinta Therapeutics or Achaogen? I’ll focus on Achaogen since Melinta Therapeutics filed for bankruptcy a week ago. Onto Achaogen, it was a biopharmaceutical company that filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. This wasn’t because they failed. They were able to make an effective drug for an “unmet medical need”. Where there are too few drugs in the antibiotic market (gram-negative infections).
Their scientists made an effective drug tackling multi-drug resistant(MDR) gram-negative infections. A significant breakthrough when you understand most antibiotics are gram-positive and not gram-negative.
The fact is drug development is expensive and I mean expensive. It took $200 million to take their antibiotics from pre-clinical to commercial.The amount of money that they invested in their antibiotic is what led to their downfall. With the goal of making $500 million but after 4 months their drug broke a million dollars. Not being able to profit from their research forced them to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
What if I told you that most companies that develop antibiotics lose money? If you own or invest in that company would you continue to invest money knowing this? Probably not.
If you want to encourage pharmaceuticals to create antibiotics, there has to be a profit for drug development and better government incentives.