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Bill would fast-track promising antibiotics for FDA approval

The antibiotics arena hasn’t proved lucrative enough for Big Pharma, leading to a mass exodus from the field in recent years. But pharma companies may have a reason to get back in the antibiotics game.

A group of bipartisan members in the House of Representatives introduced a bill late Thursday that aims to combat the growing threat of so-called “superbugs” by essentially providing a fast-track route to FDA approval for promising new antibiotics and antifungals. The bill would allow the FDA to approve antibiotics needed for life-threatening infections based on data from smaller clinical trials–an incentive that could save companies money on drug development.

The bill, called the Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment (ADAPT) Act of 2013, also proposes a plan to strengthen antibiotics resistance monitoring by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and make this data publicly available to healthcare providers, hospitals and academics.