World Health Day 2011: No Action Today, No Cure Tomorrow

By Heather Buschman, Ph.D.
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Editor’s update, April 8, 2011: It’s not too late – you can still find audio and slides from this event here.

Today, World Health Day 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) calls on governments and stakeholders to implement the policies and practices needed to prevent and counter the emergence of microorganisms resistant to current therapies.

Antibiotics are among the most important advances in human health, but their use and misuse over the past 70 years have increased the number and types of microorganisms resistant to antibiotics – resulting in deaths, greater suffering and disability and higher healthcare costs. The challenge posed to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries is loud and clear – only seven new antibiotics have been introduced since 2003.

A press conference will be held this afternoon at Sanford-Burnham’s La Jolla, Calif. campus to feature innovators in antibiotic research and development.

WHAT: Innovation in Antibiotics: Medicine for the Next Wave of Bacterial Infections

WHEN: Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time

WHERE: Sanford Children’s Health Research Center, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, 10905 Road to the Cure, San Diego, CA 92121 or via webcast.

WHO:

Jeffrey Stein, Ph.D., President and CEO
Trius Therapeutics
Trius is focusing on the development of innovative antibiotics for life-threatening infections. Trius is in the final stage of clinical development for torezolid phosphate, a next generation antibiotic for the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI), including those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Trius has worked closely with FDA to define a path to market approval for antibiotics that are fast acting and with low acquisition of microbial resistance.

Daniel Burgess, President and CEO
Mpex Pharmaceuticals
Mpex is in the final stage of clinical testing of a proprietary inhalable formulation of levofloxacin for the treatment of microbial infections in patients with cystic fibrosis. The company’s mission is to develop important new therapies to combat the growing issue of antibiotic resistance.

Andrei Osterman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Dr. Osterman’s research focuses on discovering the molecular mechanisms of disease, the true starting point for understanding what contributes to bacterial resistance. Bacteria are devilishly smart and have adapted to the weapons the pharmaceutical industry has created to fight them. Dr. Osterman and his colleagues are looking for the molecular weaknesses that we can exploit to attack resistant bacteria, with an eye towards translating lab discoveries into treatments.

Joe Panetta, President and CEO
BIOCOM
BIOCOM is the largest regional life science association in the world and represents more than 550 member companies in Southern California.

Organized by Canale Communications

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Heather Buschman, Ph.D.

Heather was a Sanford-Burnham Communications staff member.

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