Pathogen-Targeted Clinical Development to Address Unmet Medical Need: Design, Safety, and Efficacy of the ATTACK Trial

Richard R. Watkins, Bin Du, Robin Isaacs, David Altarac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


There is a crucial need for novel antibiotics to stem the tide of antimicrobial resistance, particularly against difficult to treat gram-negative pathogens like Acinetobacter baumannii-calcoaceticus complex (ABC). An innovative approach to addressing antimicrobial resistance may be pathogen-targeted development programs. Sulbactam-durlobactam (SUL-DUR) is a β-lactam/βlactamase inhibitor combination antibiotic that is being developed to specifically target drug-resistant ABC. The development of SUL-DUR culminated with the Acinetobacter Treatment Trial Against Colistin (ATTACK) trial, a global, randomized, active-controlled phase 3 clinical trial that compared SUL-DUR with colistin for treating serious infections due to carbapenem-resistant ABC. SUL-DUR met the primary noninferiority endpoint of 28-day all-cause mortality. Furthermore, SUL-DUR had a favorable safety profile with a statistically significant lower incidence of nephrotoxicity compared with colistin. If approved, SUL-DUR could be an important treatment option for infections caused by ABC, including carbapenem-resistant and multidrug-resistant strains. The development program and the ATTACK trial highlight the potential for pathogen-targeted development programs to address the challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S210-S214
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - 1 May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • ATTACK trial
  • antibiotics
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • sulbactam-durlobactam


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