New guidance to speed up development of antibiotics

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New guidance to speed up development of antibiotics

EMA invites comments on its draft guideline on the use of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics analyses in the development of antibiotics

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has released a draft guideline for public consultation on the use of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics analyses in the development of antibiotics. The document provides guidance for the conduct of robust analyses to facilitate and speed up the development of new antibiotics, in particular those targeting multi-drug resistant bacteria. Comments on this draft guideline should be sent to using the form provided, no later than 31 March 2016.

The increasing emergence of bacteria that have become resistant to a wide range of antibiotics is a major and global public health issue. On the one hand it is essential to encourage the prudent use of antibiotics so that development of antimicrobial resistance can be reduced to a minimum, on the other hand new antibiotics are urgently needed for the treatment of serious infectious diseases, in particular when patients have very limited or no remaining treatment options. A central pillar in EMA’s strategy to fight antimicrobial resistance is to offer an environment that stimulates and facilitates development of innovative antibiotics.

Pharmacokinetics relates to the effect the body has on a medicine; in other words how the medicine is absorbed by the body, distributed through the organs, transformed and finally excreted.

Pharmacodynamics refers to the effect a medicine has on the body or on microorganisms or parasites; in the context of antibiotics, this relates to the ability of a medicine to kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria at a given dose.

With the development of modelling and simulation methods, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics analyses, which are conducted prior to the start of clinical trials in humans and throughout the clinical development, play an increasing role during the development of a new antibiotic by providing evidence around the appropriateness of the dose and frequency of administration that should be used in patients to achieve the optimal benefit-risk balance. If they are conducted in a robust manner, these analyses have the potential to reduce the size of the clinical development programme.

These analyses are particularly crucial in the development of new antibiotics that address unmet medical needs or target multi-drug resistant bacteria since they contribute to streamlining and accelerating the development using innovative data-gathering strategies, in line with the new regulatory approach described in the EMA addendum to the guideline on the evaluation of medicines for the treatment of bacterial infections.

They also provide important data to inform the selection of dose regimens that may minimise the risk of developing resistant bacteria.

The draft guideline reflects both the recent scientific advances and the regulatory experience in this area. It provides guidance to medicine developers for the conduct of robust pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics analyses and outlines the regulatory requirements regarding the type of data that need to be collected, their analyses and interpretation, in view of a marketing authorisation application.

EMA is organising a workshop on 12-13 November 2015 with a broad range of stakeholders, including academia, regulatory agencies, industry as well as international and EU experts in the field, to discuss the draft guideline. The discussions will inform the finalisation of the document.

Attendance at the workshop is by invitation only. However, the workshop will be broadcast live on the EMA website.

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