Reviving old antibiotics

In the face of increasing antimicrobial resistance and the lack of new agents it has become clear that we need new strategies. One of these must be to revisit old antibiotics to make sure that we are using them correctly and to their full potential as well as to find out if one or several of them can help alleviate the pressure on more recent agents.

The international ESCMID conference, ‘Reviving Old Antibiotics’ in Vienna has attracted participation from almost 300 delegates from 45 countries. A series of lecturers from experts from science, healthcare, industry, global organisations such as WHO and REACT and European Agencies such as the European Centre for Disease prevention and Control (ECDC) and the  European Medicines Agency (EMA), was followed by several hours of in depth free discussions between the audience and the panel of lecturers and experts.  On the last day of the conference everyone united behind a statement emphasizing the urgency of the matter – patients are dying in all countries of the world from the lack of viable therapeutic alternatives when infected by multi-resistant bacteria for which no antibiotic are effective.

Participants were tasked with finding new solutions and shortcuts to the problems which were identified.

  • There are many older agents from the 1950ies and 60ies that have hardly been used for decades but which have retained activity against multidrug resistant bacteria. We need to identify the most useful and important candidates for “re-development”. In which countries are they still available for therapy? Is the quality of production sufficient? What is the scientific basis for “re-development”? Are they currently appropriately or inappropriately used?
  • All the bits of information, knowledge, and local initiatives should be coordinated and merged into a concerted action.
  • When older drugs are “re-developed”, we must be prepared to advocate proper use and fight inappropriate use, promote stewardship and be prepared to improve infection control.
  • All stakeholder must be identified. Medicines agencies, politicians, companies, scientists, patient groups, payers, etc.
  • New ways of informing healthcare workers, politicians, authorities, the public etc must be utilized.
  • The need for political courage and action was underlined – shortcuts are needed, red tape must be minimized.
  • New funding mechanisms must be identified.

Please follow our future activities that are inspired by this conference.

Press Release

Press release after the conference

Vienna2014 Programme


AIDA – “re-developing” of old antibiotics

Presentation U. Theuretzbacher: How do you “re-develop” an old antibiotic-experience from AIDA

Conference report, ORF (German)

Conference report, Der Standard (German)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.