A potpourri of polymxyins

T Velkov

Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, 381 Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia

The world is facing an enormous and growing threat from the emergence of bacterial 'superbugs' that are resistant to all available antibiotics. The healthcare cost of antibiotic resistance to society is staggering. In the US, antibiotic resistance costs an estimated $20 billion per year in direct health care costs, $35 billion per year in other societal costs and >8 million additional days of extended hospital stay. If bacteria continue developing resistance to multiple antibiotics at the present rate and at the same time the antibiotic pipeline continues to dry up, there could be catastrophic costs to healthcare and society globally. New antibiotics are urgently needed to treat infections caused by bacterial 'superbugs', in particular Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Building upon our systematic polymyxin pharmacology research since 1999, we have employed a new structure-activity relationship model to develop a novel class of polymyxin antibiotics against infections caused by Gram-negative 'superbugs'.