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Where have all the antibiotic patents gone?

Patent and regulatory hurdles combined with low returns on investment are stifling antibiotic R&D in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Figure 1: Antibacterial sales forecasts from 2005 to 2015, and key patent expirations.


  1. Bad bugs, no drugs: as antibiotic R&D stagnates... a public health crisis brews (Infectious Diseases Society of America, Alexandria, Virginia, 2004).

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Katz, M., Mueller, L., Polyakov, M. et al. Where have all the antibiotic patents gone?. Nat Biotechnol 24, 1529–1531 (2006).

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