Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of June 18, 2017
JUN 24, 2017 | CONTAGION® EDITORIAL STAFF
#5: Yale Researchers Pave the Way for Development of New Antibiotics
According to Joseph Larsen, PhD, Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) with the US Department of Health and Human Services, developing new antibiotic agents can take years, and only become profitable after an average of about 23 years. In addition, in an interview with Contagion®, Robert W. Malone, MD, MS, CEO/CSO of Atheric Pharmaceuticals, LLC, mentioned that getting a new drug or vaccine on the market takes around $1 billion and approximately 10 years. However, there is less incentive in creating new antibiotics because of revenue. According to Dr. Larsen, “for the last 6 antibiotics approved in the United States, the projected first 2 years’ sales ranged between $30 million to $80 million, which is not much when compared to medications used to treat more chronic diseases, which routinely have first 2 years’ sales in excess of a billion dollars.”
In the most recent study, Dr. Herzon and his colleagues were able to “prepare an isomer of pleuromutilin—a compound that has the same connectivity, but with a different arrangement of atoms—and rearrange it in the final steps of the synthesis to pleuromutilin.” With this, the research group was able to fully synthesize pleuromutilin, which may allow for the development of more antibiotics. The group outlined their complete synthesis methods in their study.
#4: Fighting Meningococcal Disease in the "Meningitis Belt"
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that rates of meningococcal disease have been on the decline in the United States; in fact, the rates are perceived to be at “historic lows.” Unfortunately, other regions of the globe are not so lucky.
One such region that holds the highest incidence of disease is what is referred to as the “meningitis belt,” which is comprised of 26 countries located within sub-Saharan Africa. Here, “major epidemics” are known to spring up every 5 to 12 years, “with attack rates reaching 1,000 cases per 100,000 population” compared with annual attack rates of 0.3 to 3 per 100,000 population in other regions of the world.
Continue reading about efforts to combat meningococcal disease in the “meningitis belt” here.
Influenza A (H3N2) has caused most of the illnesses in this severe flu season, but influenza B is becoming increasingly responsible for more infections as the flu season continues to hit the United States.
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