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J Antibiot (Tokyo). 2010 Aug;63(8):423-30. doi: 10.1038/ja.2010.62. Epub 2010 Jun 16.

Antibiotic discovery in the twenty-first century: current trends and future perspectives.

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NAICONS, Milano, Italy.


New antibiotics are necessary to treat microbial pathogens that are becoming increasingly resistant to available treatment. Despite the medical need, the number of newly approved drugs continues to decline. We offer an overview of the pipeline for new antibiotics at different stages, from compounds in clinical development to newly discovered chemical classes. Consistent with historical data, the majority of antibiotics under clinical development are natural products or derivatives thereof. However, many of them also represent improved variants of marketed compounds, with the consequent risk of being only partially effective against the prevailing resistance mechanisms. In the discovery arena, instead, compounds with promising activities have been obtained from microbial sources and from chemical modification of antibiotic classes other than those in clinical use. Furthermore, new natural product scaffolds have also been discovered by ingenious screening programs. After providing selected examples, we offer our view on the future of antibiotic discovery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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