MSD’s novel antibiotic treatment Recarbrio has launched in the UK as concerns grow over the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) globally.
The UK launch of Recarbrio(imipenem/cilastatin/relebactam) follows authorization of the medicine by the European Commission earlier this year. Recarbrio is indicated for the treatment of infections caused by aerobic Gram-negative organisms in adults with limited treatment options.
When new antibiotics are launched, they are usually reserved as the last possible treatment and only administered until resistance has emerged to older treatments. A new medicine typically takes 10-12 years to develop and usually costs over $1bn, a fact which has caused a number of drugmakers to ditch antibiotic research and development as there is no immediate return on investment.
In an effort to combat the rise of AMR and return investment into this research area, 20 biopharmaceutical companies recently aided the launch of a new $1bn AMR Action Fund.
The AMR Action Fund is aiming to advance new antibiotics through late-stage clinical trials and bolster research and development. “As one of the few remaining large research-based pharmaceutical companies still undertaking antibiotic research, we are aware that we cannot solve this issue alone. That is why we recently committed to invest $100m in the AMR Action Fund, to help innovators bridge the gap between the laboratory and patients,” said David Peacock, managing director of MSD in the UK and Ireland.
“However, even this historic intervention on the part of industry won’t be enough to save the global pipeline of antibiotics unless governments enact market-based reforms, and fund these to a degree that is commensurate with the scale of the threat to public health,” he added.
In June, a government scheme to fuel the development of new antibiotics by offering to pay pharmaceutical companies upfront for their work was launched. Under the model, pharma companies will be paid upfront for access to their antibiotic product, based on its value to the NHS as opposed to how much is used, in the hope that this will encourage new research and development.