Achaogen is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of new antibiotics for the treatment of serious multi-drug resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacterial infections.
The urgent need for new antibiotics to treat life-threatening infections
Before antibiotics were discovered, bacterial infections were consistently among the leading causes of death. The introduction of penicillin and other classes of antibiotics in the 1940s led to dramatic reductions in death rates associated with bacterial infections. Since then, many previously life-saving antibiotics have lost their effectiveness as bacteria continue to evolve new defense mechanisms against antibiotics. In 2009, nearly 100,000 patients died from infections they acquired in U.S. hospitals. Most of these fatal infections were caused by multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria. The Infectious Disease Society of America estimates that the annual cost to the U.S. healthcare system of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria is $21 billion to $34 billion, including 8 million additional hospital days. Seventy years after the beginning of the "antibiotic era," there is an acute and growing public health need for new treatments to address infections caused by MDR bacteria.
Despite the unmet need, a variety of technical and market challenges have resulted in a declining number of pharmaceutical companies engaged in antibiotic research and too few new treatments in development. Achaogen has built specialized research and development capabilities through a focused strategy that unites the interests of government agencies and private investors. Our emerging pipeline of internally-discovered product candidates reflects Achaogen's steadfast commitment to discovering and developing new antibiotics with the potential to address this major public health crisis.