I have spent my career as a biomedical entrepreneur working to develop products that have the potential to save lives while also generating returns for shareholders. Two years ago, I co-founded a new company, Octagon Therapeutics, focused on a critical unmet medical need and a growing market opportunity: more effective antibiotics. It turned out to be a disaster.
We invested significant resources into developing a promising treatment for infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria. These “superbugs,” which do not respond to most existing antibiotics, are responsible for nearly 700,000 deaths each year. If current trends continue, drug-resistant bacteria will be the leading global cause of death by 2050.