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>> Everything is a test, they wanna
]>> This molecule could be a key weapon in the fight against an insidious killer that's putting the healthcare industry on edge. They're called super bugs, bacteria resistant to antibiotics that can spread to patients, often in hospitals with deadly impact, but Doctor Bill Degrado thinks he might have an answer.
16 years ago, he and his team at the time at the University of Pennsylvania developed what would be the first drug in a new class of antibiotics. But getting it to market, that's a different story.>> Well I'd say, as academics, we can do our best. We can make really good molecules.
After they leave our laboratory, though, there's a process whereby they have to be developed by commercial entities.>> And that's where the trouble started. Developing a new drug can cost upward of $1 billion. Lack of funding bankrupted the first company developing Degrado and his team's drug, the latest company to take it over still can't get the needed investments to finish the third and largest clinical trial.
Reuters reporter, Yasmin Abu Talib says, when it comes to fighting super bugs, the problem isn't science, it's economics.>> Antibiotics are not lucrative drugs compared to areas like cancer or drugs for high cholesterol or blood pressure. They're taken for a short amount of time, seven to 14 days.
They're typically much cheaper and, whereas these other drugs are taken for a lifetime or for several years. So they're not very lucrative, and the economic incentives just don't align with how critically they're needed.>> It's been over 30 years since a new class of antibiotics has been discovered and brought to market, even as super bugs like MRSA and C diff, that can spread in healthcare facilities, are killing more patients than ever before.
>> So without new drugs, researchers say we're gonna lose a stand-off with antibiotic resistant bacteria and we're gonna go back to an era of medicine where common infections are killing people again.