MRSA Infections Face New Foes Thanks to Drug Development

Fri, 05/25/2012 - 5:22am

It is hoped that an increase in serious hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA will be combatted by the new and improved drug treatment options in the pipeline due for launch in the near future, according to pharmaceutical experts GlobalData. Their new report has found that cases of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus have been on the increase during the past decade, due to the steady growth of the elderly and immuno-compromised population, and the emergence of multi-drug-resistant bacterial strains.

MRSA is a common bacterial, hospital-acquired infection which occurs in patients with weakened immune systems, and is resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics such as methicillin, amoxicillin, penicillin and oxacillin. MRSA can cause a broad variety of infections, ranging from superficial skin eruptions to life-threatening cellulitis, blood and surgical infections, pneumonia and urinary tract infections. Stringent hygiene measures in hospitals have led to a decrease in MRSA cases among hospital in-patients, but overall disease prevalence has seen an escalation due to increases in the community-associated MRSA infections, and MRSA is expected to gain further momentum over the coming years.

According to GlobalData, pharmaceutical companies are attempting to combat this with a strong therapeutics pipeline, which includes both antibiotics and vaccines, in various phases of development. R&D activity is more prominent in the early stages of pipeline.  However, six molecules are in Phase III that would enter in the therapeutics market within the next few years. First-in-class molecules account for 40 precent of the pipeline, while best-in-class molecules contribute a 31 percent share, showing that a new generation of medicines is fast emerging. Phase III molecule Tedizolid Phosphate could be the most promising drugs in development at present, as this second-generation oxazolidinone has shown superior results over current market favourite Linezolid.

These drugs would capture the gap in the market caused by the patent expiries of Zyvox (linezolid) in 2015, Cubicin (daptomycin) in 2017 and Tygacil (tigecycline) in 2016. The developments will also help to strengthen the current treatment spectrum in light of public controversies surrounding the serious adverse effects of some treatment offerings. For example, Vibativ (telavancin) has been known to cause damage to the kidneys, while the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended a restriction on the use of Tygacil due to a possible increase in mortality risk. The MRSA therapeutics market therefore offers significant opportunities for stronger upcoming products.

GlobalData analysis shows that the global MRSA therapeutics market grew at a compound annual growth rate of 12.9 percent in 2011. GlobalData forecasts that the market will grow at a rate of 3.4 percent over the next eight years.


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