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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
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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