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In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

June 5, 2023 by Hannah Sachs-Wetstone

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Data from late-stage trials showed that Pfizer’s experimental antibiotic drug combination was well-tolerated and effective in treating complicated infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria. The combination, which includes the experimental mix aztreonam-avibactam, existing generic drug metronidazole, and two older antibiotics: meropenem and colistin, is aimed at treating complicated intra-abdominal infections and some types of hospital-acquired pneumonia caused by gram-negative bacteria. The study underscores that innovative, novel antibiotics continue to be an important goal in the face of the rising global threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer’s Abrysvo vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) following strong results from a phase 3 trial, making it the second vaccine to protect older adults from RSV approved in recent months. Both vaccines will not be available until the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends them, which the agency is expected to do soon. Experts have highlighted the great potential for both vaccines to drastically reduce the number of infections and hospitalizations in adults that result from the virus every year.

A new study showed the success of implementing shorter treatment regimens for drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in a small cohort in the United States. The six-month, all-oral bedaquiline, pretomanid, and linezolid (BPaL) regimen for rifampin-resistant TB was implemented in 70 patients in 2019, shortly after FDA approval of the regimen. The promising results lend support to the early implementation of new TB treatments and highlight the promise of further innovation to reduce the burden of TB, especially drug-resistant TB, in the United States and around the world.

About the author

Hannah Sachs-WetstoneGHTC

Hannah supports advocacy and communications activities and member coordination for GHTC. Her role includes developing and disseminating digital communications, tracking member and policy news, engaging coalition members, and organizing meetings and events.Prior to joining GHTC, more about this author