Pharmaceutical And Biotech Firms Taking On Drug-Resistant Microbes

Drug-Resistant Microbes As pesky pathogens continue to evolve, new technologies to combat them are emerging, spelling job opportunities for molecular biologists and chemists. OBSTINATE MICROBES: Margaret Rennels cites strains of pneumococcus resistence to two major drugs. At drug and biotech companies across the United States, scientists have set their sights on a most elusive target: drug-resistant microbes. Working in pharmaceutical- biotechnology partnerships, researchers are trying every

Kathryn Brown
Jun 9, 1996

Drug-Resistant Microbes As pesky pathogens continue to evolve, new technologies to combat them are emerging, spelling job opportunities for molecular biologists and chemists.


OBSTINATE MICROBES: Margaret Rennels cites strains of pneumococcus resistence to two major drugs.
At drug and biotech companies across the United States, scientists have set their sights on a most elusive target: drug-resistant microbes. Working in pharmaceutical- biotechnology partnerships, researchers are trying every trick in the book-including high-tech drug discovery, genome sequencing, and development of new vaccines-to overcome resistant pathogens.

In addition to saving lives, successful companies stand to gain a significant share of the $23 billion antibiotics market. It's an alluring combination. "In our long-term strategy, everything we're doing now is based on [disease] resistance," remarks William Kohlbrenner, manager of infectious diseases at Pfizer Inc. in New York. That sentiment is echoed throughout much of the pharmaceutical industry, he adds.

A handful of new or improved...

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