Low profit margins and the difficulty of finding new drugs has led to big pharma shutting down its antibiotics programmes. But now researchers are adopting new approaches to tackle drug-resistant superbugs.
Matt Cooper, a medical chemist at the University of Queensland, Australia, puffs out his cheeks and scratches his head. He’s trying to explain why the pipeline for new antibiotics is quite so dry. “The problem,” he says, “is that finding new antibiotics is now really, really hard.”