Novartis exit from antibiotics a setback for race against resistance

Novartis exit from antibiotics a setback for race against resistance

Originally published on Chemistry World.

Experts say business models must change to halt big pharma exodus

News that Novartis is the latest pharma giant to exit the antibiotics space has prompted warnings that the ability to tackle antimicrobial resistance is getting weaker and could get worse if the failure of the antibiotic business model is not addressed.

The Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer announced it was dropping its antimicrobial research programmes, resulting in the loss of 140 jobs, based on the decision ‘to prioritise our resources in other areas where we believe we are better positioned to develop innovative medicines that will have a positive impact for patients’. 

Noting that the antimicrobial programmes should still have the chance at development, the company said it would sell the licences of its projects to other pharma firms, including the phase 2 drug LYS228, for complicated intra-abdominal and urinary tract infections. 

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