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Strategy paper: Pathogenomics, Innovation and Public health


The field of anti-infective drugs is facing a crisis due to three major factors: (a) pathogens are constantly developing resistance to existing drugs (especially at the hospital setting); (b) the development of new antibacterial agents is nearing a standstill (new antibacterial agents constitute merely 6 of 506 drugs disclosed in the developmental programs of the largest pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the U.S.); (c) a dearth of reliable diagnostic and monitoring tools for infectious disease complicates treatment and diminishes its efficiency.

Despite the ever growing need for new antimicrobial agents, a number of factors make their development economically unattractive, due to the large number of antimicrobials already approved.

The following points summarize the caveats and needs of the anti-infectives field in the context of pathogenomics:

  1. A substantial amount of time, efforts and resources seem to be consumed due to lack of standardization between labs. Formulation of guidelines relating to research tools and nomenclature could aid in communications between labs and streamline research.
  2. Networking networking…connecting academia, the industry and legislators across the EU.
  3. There is a shortage of biomarkers that could serve as diagnostic tools, monitor the course of the disease or predict its likely outcome. Genomics and related techniques are extremely efficient for identifying such markers.
  4. Legislation is falling behind scientific research on several fronts, namely the use of biological markers, patenting, financing and drug approval procedures.

» Strategy paper: Pathogenomics, Innovation and Public health