GSK's Witty calls for joint effort on antibiotic development

Near the end of a wide-ranging interview with The Wall Street Journal, GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) CEO Andrew Witty (photo) highlighted the company's involvement in an industry effort to develop new treatments for tropical diseases. And he had some pointed suggestions for pooling more R&D work. Witty says he'd like to see a big effort to develop new antibiotics. Thin margins have kept Big Pharma companies away from the antibiotic development field. And that makes it ripe for coordination. "We are trying to get ahead of the disaster.… Everybody has a concern that, one day, there might be a bug for which we don't have a drug," Witty says. "We don't want that day to happen, and we need to re-double our energies, and the way to do that is to acknowledge that the market has failed in this regard." Story