Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (ARB)

Antibiotic resistant bacteria present a significant challenge to patients, physicians, and health organizations.  These infections can be very difficult to treat, resulting in higher patient morbidity and mortality.  In the United States, over 2 million people acquire infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria.  Over 250,000 of these people require hospitalization, costing the US healthcare system over $21 billion per year.1,2  In Europe, antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections cause over 20,000 deaths per year and cost over Euro1.5 billion per year.3

Due to the  increased use of antibiotics in a growing immunoimpaired population (age, cancer, transplant, diabetics) and rapid dispersion of resistant organisms through travel, drug-resistant organisms have become increasingly common, including well-publicized occurrences of MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and VRSA (Vancomycin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus). More problematic organisms such as CRE (Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae) have been termed ‘super-bugs’ due to their resistance to virtually all known antibiotics. Moreover, less commonly known organisms like Salmonella spp, Shigella spp, Vibrio spp, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia pseudomallei, can be deliberately engineered for resistance and use as biological weapons.

The increase in resistance to antibiotics both inside and outside the hospital setting has created a shared concern among patients, physicians, scientists, government organizations and the general public. A significant need exists for new drugs that are able to treat these serious infections.


1  ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE THREATS in the United States, 2013. Center for Disease Control
2 White, A.R. Effective Antibacterials: at What Cost? The Economics of Antibacterial Resistance and its Control. In Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2011, 66(9): 1948-53.
3 “Burden of Antibiotic Resistance.” Action on Antibiotic Resistance (ReAct),, 2012.