A new antibiotic for urinary tract infections is heading toward government approval.
It would be the first new treatment in 20 years for UTIs, which affect more than half of women at least sometime in their lives, according to data compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Called Gepotidacin, the antibiotic’s trial has halted enrollment early due to excellent effectiveness and safety results thus far, drugmaker GSK announced in a press release Nov. 3. GSK will seek approval and peer-reviewed publication early next year.
There is a need for new antibiotics such as this because of increasing antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance to bacteria has become so prevalent that the World Health Organization recently began publishing a list of bacteria that pose the greatest public health threats.
“It’s definitely a big deal,” Cindy Liu, MD, MPH, PhD, of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at George Washington University, told CNN.
However, antibiotics are not a particularly profitable type of drug, The Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper noted that they need to be used sparingly to limit resistance, and the cheapest option is usually prescribed. Some small companies that make antibiotics have even gone bankrupt recently, the Journal noted.
The U.S. government has invested in GSK’s development of Gepotidacin. The company predicts the drug could be a “blockbuster” and earn more than $1 billion due to UTI resistance to other drugs, the Journal reported.
“I think it will be really interesting and important to the field to see both how the drug companies sort of market this product and sort of how it does,” Dr. Liu said.
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