On STD Awareness Week (12-18 April), we’re celebrating advances made against gonorrhoea, while casting light on a harsh truth. Despite being preventable and treatable with effective drugs, gonorrhoea is on the rise.
Every hour across the world there are almost 10,000 new gonorrhoea infections. This amounts to 87 million new infections every year. Untreated gonorrhoea can have serious and permanent consequences, including infertility in men and women, pelvic inflammatory disease and life-threatening ectopic pregnancy.
The gonorrhoea bacteria can evolve to defeat the drugs designed to kill it. This process has been accelerated by the inappropriate use and overuse of antibiotics. Drug-resistant gonorrhoea has been reported in every region of the world and is identified by the World Health Organization as a priority infection urgently requiring new antibiotics. To address the need for effective drugs, GARDP is developing a new treatment for gonorrhoea and is working to ensure it is available to everyone who needs it, wherever they live.
With our partner Entasis Therapeutics, we are evaluating a novel antibiotic called zoliflodacin, the only drug being developed specifically to treat gonorrhoea. As a first-in-class treatment, zoliflodacin is active against resistant strains of gonorrhoea. Following positive phase 2 results, a global phase 3 trial of the drug was launched last year.
On the trail of a new gonorrhoea treatment
Progress is being made. But more global partnerships are needed, and must move faster, to support research, development and access to new treatments for gonorrhoea and other curable STIs, for every person who needs them.