Antimicrobial therapeutics are estimated to be worth US$26 billion per annum, ranking in 3rd place by value in the pharmaceutical industry. Over 150 different products in this therapeutic group are known today, out of these a relatively small number of new chemical entities have been given marketing approvals by the US Food and Drug Administration over the last decade.
Over the last 30 years, few families of antimicrobials have been discovered which exhibit truly novel modes of action and most of the new drugs in development are analogues of existing drugs. At the same time, bacteria increasingly develop resistance against currently available antibiotics, so new ways of fighting infections become increasingly important. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry’s interest in the development of new antimicrobial therapeutics has been re-kindled.
The compounds developed by Akthelia result in bacterial death through a mechanism that is unlikely to lead to the development of resistance. Akthelia is, therefore, in a unique position as the first and only company to have identified this mechanism as a target for treating infections and to have drugs based on this discovery in advanced stages of development. Thus, the company is uniquely placed to make a significant impact in this revitalised therapeutic area.