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Springer Nature




In the face of rising rates of antibacterial resistance, many responses are being pursued in parallel, including ‘non-traditional’ antibacterial agents (agents that are not small-molecule drugs and/or do not act by directly targeting bacterial components necessary for bacterial growth). In this Perspective, we argue that the distinction between traditional and nontraditional agents has only limited relevance for regulatory purposes. Rather, most agents in both categories can and should be developed using standard measures of clinical efficacy demonstrated with non-inferiority or superiority trial designs according to existing regulatory frameworks. There may, however, be products with non-traditional goals focused on population-level benefits that would benefit from extension of current paradigms. Discussion of such potential paradigms should be undertaken by the development community.

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