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| Updated on January 18, 2020

WHO alert on superbugs

World running out of options

The World Health Organization warned on Friday that a dire lack of new antibiotics was threatening efforts to curb the spread of drug-resistant bacteria, which kill tens of thousands of people each year. The UN health agency published two new reports revealing that there are few new effective antibiotics in the pipeline, meaning that the world is running out of options for fighting so-called superbugs. “Never has the threat of antimicrobial resistance been more immediate and the need for solutions more urgent,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “We need countries and the pharmaceutical industry to contribute with sustainable funding and innovative new medicines,” he said. Antibiotic resistance happens when bugs become immune to existing drugs, rendering minor injuries and common infections potentially deadly.

Setback for Bayer on cancer drug

Assessment entity not convinced

Germany’s drug assessment body said that data provided by Bayer on its precision cancer drug Vitrakvi did not provide clear enough evidence of benefits, in a setback to the drugmaker in its home market. Bayer’s Vitrakvi won European approval in September, the first drug in Europe to tackle tumours based on a rare genetic mutation regardless of where in the body the disease started.

Bayer has said it expected annual peak sales of more than 750 million euros from the drug. It needs a boost as many analysts regard the group’s drug development pipeline as too thin to make up for an expected decline in revenues from its two bestsellers from about 2024.

Published on January 18, 2020

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