Klebsiella pneumoniae infections are usually hospital acquired and patients with compromised defense mechanisms are more prone to these infections. Klebsiella pneumoniae is a pathogenic strain of genus Klebsiella of Enterobacteriaceae and is present in the normal flora of the respiratory, intestinal, and urinogenital tracts of humans. Although this bacteria is essential for normal bowel health and functioning, serious infection occurs when it gets outside the gut. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2 million patients suffer from nosocomial infections annually out of which 100,000 people die. Klebsiella pneumonia contributes to 8% of overall nosocomial infections. Normal pneumonia can be resolved effectively with medications, but Klebsiella pneumonia causes lung destruction and abscesses in many cases resulting into higher mortality rate. In Klebsiella pneumonia, the mortality rate is above 50% which increases to 90% in cases which remain untreated.
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Cephalosporins are among the most widely used class of drugs for treating Klebsiella infections and are often prescribed as monotherapy or in conjunction with aminoglycosides. Some of the prominent antibiotics found to be active against Klebsiella pneumoniae include moxifloxacin, ofloxacin, levofloxacin, ceftriaxone, betamethasone, cefepime, meropenem, terizidone, cefixime, tobramycin, and gemifloxacin. Today, several antibiotics are used to treat numerous infectious diseases caused by pathogenic microbes.
However, many such medicines are becoming ineffective as the pathogenic microorganisms are becoming resistant to evolve themselves into multi drug resistant (MDR) strains. The strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae which produce Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPCs) are increasingly becoming common and are capable of hydrolyzing broad spectrum beta-lactam antibiotics including penicillings, and carbapenams. Klebsiella species can easily become resistant to carbapenems and unfortunately these are the only last resort antibiotics against gram-negative Klebsiella pneumonia. At present, tigecycline and polymixins (particularly polymixin B) are the only useful drugs in treating KPC producing bacteria. There is a great need of medicines which can treat the infectious strains of Klebsiella genus.
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Widespread research activities are underway to find out better therapy for Klebsiella pneumonia infections, however only modest success has been achieved until date. A few promising drugs and treatment procedures are expected to bring paradigm shift in the treatment of Klebsiella pneumonia infections. Some of the drugs in various stages of drug development include CB-618, RX-04, CB-027, SM-295291, SM-369926, SGX-942, NAB-741, NAB-7061, IBN-1, and PMBN-fMLF.
In a recent development in the market, Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was awarded with USD 67 million for development of its pipeline drug TP-434. This clinical stage drugs is a potent antibiotic against multi drug resistant (MDR) gram negative microorganism and can provide effective treatment in Klebsiella pneumoniae infection. Earlier in 2011, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sanofi S.A. had signed an exclusive worldwide agreement for research collaboration on RX-04 development program. This program is aimed at breaking ground in antibiotic discovery through developing new class of antibiotics for treating MDR pathogenic infections. Such kind of ongoing research activities by several companies for bringing new drugs in the market provide good market opportunity for these companies in the near future.
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Some of the key players in the global Klebsiella pneumoniae infection treatment market with drugs in pipeline include Arsanis Biosciences GmbH, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cantab Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., FOB Synthesis, Inc., Melinta Therapeutics, Inc., Northern Antibiotics Oy, Phico Therapeutics Ltd., Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. Ltd., Procarta Biosystems Ltd., Pfizer, Inc., Soligenix, Inc., Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Trana Discovery, Inc., and Tetraphase pharmaceuticals, Inc.