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As new types of resistance mechanisms and multidrug-resistant bacteria continue to emerge and spread globally, the need for new antibiotics has never been greater. And yet, nearly every antibiotic available today is based on scientific discoveries from more than 30 years ago. Development of new antibiotics has slowed because of scientific barriers as well as lowered returns on investment, leading many large pharmaceutical companies to abandon their antibiotic discovery programmes. Together, these factors have led to an anaemic pipeline. In 2014, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ antibiotic resistance project began tracking the clinical pipeline of small-molecule antibiotics semi-annually to shed light on the landscape of products in clinical development. This analysis can be useful to demonstrate the need for policies aimed at spurring antibiotic innovation. Here, we present data collected by Pew over the past 5 years to provide insights into the flow of candidates through the pipeline (Fig. 1; see Supplementary information for details). We also provide an interactive visualization of this data (see Related links).