NDR news: Pharmaceutical industry pulls out of antibiotics research

A disaster with an announcement

Antibiotics are among the most important drugs. But the number of resistant germs is increasing. Despite this, hardly any new active ingredients are being developed – because it’s not profitable.
By Christian Baars and Oda Lambrecht, NDR.

Although the increasing spread of resistant germs is seen as one of the greatest global dangers, pharmaceutical companies are stopping research into new antibiotics. This is shown by research conducted by NDR. The world’s largest healthcare group, Johnson & Johnson, has now confirmed to the broadcaster that they currently have “no further antibiotics in development”. Most recently, industry giants Novartis and Sanofi had exited antibiotic research in 2018, as did AstraZeneca at the end of 2016.

As recently as 2016, about 100 companies came together to form an “industry alliance” (“AMR Industry Alliance”) to fight resistance, including Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Sanofi and AstraZeneca. They had signed a joint declaration. Among other things, they pledged to invest in research in this area.

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