Declaration by the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Diagnostics Industries on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance
by Robert Buckheit III
February 16, 2016
The need for innovation in the development of novel antibiotics is highlighted by the recent "Declaration by the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Diagnostics Industries on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance", which calls for minimizing the development of drug resistance, increasing investment in novel therapeutics, and improving access to high-quality antibiotics globally. The signatories on January 21st, 2016 at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland included 85 companies from the pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biotechnology industries from 18 different countries. We applaud the signatories’ efforts to bring attention to this growing problem and are committed to aiding the development of novel antibiotics.
Treatment of bacterial infections is even more challenging when the vital role of microbial biofilms is considered. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, biofilms are implicated in more than 80 percent of chronic inflammatory and infectious diseases caused by bacteria, including gingivitis, ear infections, gastrointestinal ulcers, urinary tract infections and pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis patients. Microorganisms in biofilms are highly resistant to antimicrobial treatment and tenaciously bind to surfaces. Drug concentrations up to 1000 times higher than those used to treat planktonic bacterial infections may be needed to eradicate microorganisms in biofilms. In a recently published paper, the authors reported that not only does the extracellular matrix of biofilms shield biofilms from antibiotics but that DNA in the matrix produces an acidic environment which induces modification of the bacterial outer membrane thereby enhancing antibiotic resistance. Making the treatment of biofilms more difficult is the presence of spore-like persister cells that are refractory to antibiotic treatment. Given the continued evolution of antibiotic resistance and the role of antibiotic-resistant biofilms in most infectious diseases, the development of antibiotics and delivery strategies that target biofilm formation and growth has become increasingly important.
As we move toward the prospect of a post-antibiotic age, we at ImQuest BioSciences are dedicated to providing services to pharmaceutical and academic groups that have a vested interest in the development of novel antimicrobial agents. Our scientific team has optimized a high-throughput method to study biofilm development and the effect of antimicrobial agents on biofilm formation and dispersal as well as an expansive panel of ESKAPE pathogens for antimicrobial resistance screening.Return to the Blog