With antibiotic-resistant superbugs seemingly uniting public health groups around developing new antibiotic drugs, FDA signaled last week that it got the message and will respond soon. While FDA offered few details, Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., and Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, offered an outline of how the agency will address the issue.
“We are working to provide scientifically sound guidance to industry on demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of new antibacterial drugs, particularly on indication-specific trial designs used to study a new drug,” Dr. Woodcock testified March 8 before the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“Although the development of new antibacterial drugs is not the entire solution to the important public health problem of antimicrobial resistance, it is a very important part,” she added. “We are at a critical juncture in this field. We are in urgent need of new therapeutic options to treat the resistant bacteria that we currently face, and we will need new therapeutic options in the future.”
Dr. Woodcock said FDA is in talks with industry representatives, the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), and others about how drugs should be developed for multidrug-resistant organisms: “A much abbreviated development program, a very small development program, which would be an incentive for developing these types of antibiotics would be highly feasible if it were linked to the concept of good antibiotic stewardship post-market.”
Stephanie Yao, an FDA spokesperson told GEN, “The FDA has been working on a number of efforts to provide industry with updated guidance on recommended clinical trial designs for antibacterial drug development for a variety of conditions. Over the past five years, the agency has issued 10 guidance documents, either as drafts or final, in the area of antibacterial drug development and breakpoints.”