UK-based biomedical research charity the Wellcome Trust has released a report suggesting creation of a clinical trial network to facilitate a cheap and efficient way of developing drugs for drug-resistant infections.
The network will address challenges faced during conducting researches to develop new antibiotics such as finding and involving 50 to 300 hospitals for every clinical trial.
Wellcome director Jeremy Farrar said: "We are entering a post-antibiotic era. Hundreds of thousands of people die every year from drug-resistant infections, and numbers are increasing at an alarming rate.
“New antibiotics are urgently needed, but so far their development has been inefficient and costly.
"This report highlights innovative models for clinical trials to reduce these barriers, and offers imaginative ways to implement a quicker, less costly and practical system for assessing new antibiotics in a way that would provide the critical robust evidence on safety and efficacy."
The report stated that the clinical trial network can readily reach out to hospitals rather than finding them, as well as standardise research protocols across the network, which will enable the sharing of same control groups of patients for different trials.
Additionally, the network is expected to save up to 23% costs of conducting the clinical trial along with 40% and 60% of the total expenditure if a master trial protocol is used and multiple trials share a single control group.
Wellcome chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies said: "This report highlights how making clinical trials quicker, cheaper and easier will help develop the drugs the world needs.
“I hope that researchers, industry and regulators will build on Wellcome’s research to help make the antibiotic pipeline as effective as possible."
Image: Electron micrograph of a human neutrophil-ingesting, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Photo: courtesy of NIAID.