WHO publishes annual review of antibacterial agents in clinical and pre-clinical development

20 April 2021

Article: 55/1606

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published its annual review of the clinical and pre-clinical antibacterial pipelines, evaluating the potential of candidates in different stages of development. This report is the WHO’s fourth annual analysis of the clinical antibacterial pipeline, and the second review of the pre-clinical pipeline. The evaluation covers traditional and non-traditional antibacterial agents in clinical and pre-clinical development worldwide, and assesses to what extent the clinical pipeline addresses WHO priority pathogens, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Clostridioides difficile.

The WHO outlines a near static pipeline, with only a few antibiotics being approved by regulatory agencies in recent years. They report that most of the agents in development offer limited clinical benefit over existing treatments, with 82% of recently approved antibiotics being derivatives of existing antibiotic classes with well-established drug-resistance.

Source: WHO, 15 April 2021