Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most important threats to global health security. A range of Gram-negative bacteria associated with high morbidity and mortality are now resistant to almost all available antibiotics. In this context of urgency to develop novel drugs, new antibiotics for multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (namely, ceftazidime-avibactam, plazomicin, and meropenem-vaborbactam) have been approved by regulatory authorities based on non-inferiority trials that provided no direct evidence of their efficacy against multidrug-resistant bacteria such as Enterobacteriaceae spp, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Burkholderia cepacia, and Acinetobacter baumannii. The use of non-inferiority and superiority trials, and selection of appropriate and optimal study designs, remains a major challenge in the development, registration, and post-marketing implementation of new antibiotics. Using an example of the development process of ceftazidime-avibactam, we propose a strategy for a new research framework based on adaptive randomised clinical trials. The operational research strategy has the aim of assessing the efficacy of new antibiotics in special groups of patients, such as those infected with multidrug-resistant bacteria, who were not included in earlier phase studies, and for whom it is important to establish an appropriate standard of care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases