Opinion: 5 ways to save antibiotics

Here's what we need to do to create new antibiotics and extend the life of those that already exist

Ron Najafi
Dec 13, 2010
The world is linkurl:facing a crisis:;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/55951/ Bacteria have become linkurl:more and more resistant;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53982/ to virtually all existing antibiotics, yet many companies are abandoning the field in favor of more lucrative medicines.
Ron Najafi
Image: NovaBay
People are proposing various solutions, such as offering financial incentives to the pharmaceutical industry to linkurl:spur the development of vitally needed antibiotics.;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/57352/ But along with creating new drugs, we can get more life from our existing antibiotics and maintain their utility. As the head of a company focused on the development of compounds to treat and prevent a wide range of infections without causing bacterial resistance, this is an issue I find both fascinating and vitally important. In my opinion, there are five ways we can extend the functional life of our antibiotic arsenal.1. Do the obvious In a recent linkurl:New York Times;http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/06/health/policy/06germ.html article, linkurl:Ramanan Laxminarayan,;http://www.rff.org/Researchers/Pages/ResearchersBio.aspx?ResearcherID=41 director of the linkurl:Extending the Cure;http://www.extendingthecure.org/ project on...
E. coli2. Assess the impact
NovaBay scientist at work
Image: NovaBay
3. Explore entirely different drugs4. Inactivate multiple essential targets5. Encourage and incentivize the industryRon Najafi, PhD is chairman and CEO of linkurl:NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NBY).,;http://www.novabaypharma.com/company/profile an Emeryville, California-based biotechnology company developing anti-infective compounds for the treatment and prevention of antibiotic-resistant infections. He can be reached at rnajafi@novabaypharma.com.

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