Resistance to antibiotics is a major global health threat. So-called “superbugs” are developing resistance to currently available antibiotics faster than new, effective antibiotics are being developed. In June 2013, Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organisation stated that, “a post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill. Some sophisticated interventions, like hip replacements, organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy, and care of preterm infants, would become far more difficult or even too dangerous to undertake.”

Bacteria continue to develop resistance to currently available antibiotics, hence there is an urgent need for new products which are effective against these superbugs. The worldwide antibacterial market was valued at US$43.9B in 2010. There are many antibiotics in the market today and two have annual sales of more than US$1B, Zyvox (linezolid, Pfizer) and Cubicin (daptomycin, Merck & Co.).