I worked in the pharma industry for a bit so let's look at some numbers:
Pharma business is split into 3 basic areas: Discovery, Development, Commercial.
Discovery: 10k molecules are examined to get to 250 that look promising and down to about 5 to get sent into development. This takes about 5 years. Costs vary wildly. Key concept (among many) here is molecules get thinned down usually because they don't work or aren't safe (Chlorox), but sometimes you just can't manufacture it even if you wanted to make it.
Development: Those 5 are then put through Development which is composed of pre-clincals (tissues and at least 2 species of animals), phase 1, 2a, 2b and 3 trials (human). The patent on the molecule is done early in this process and is good for 20 years. Development lasts about 9 years and costs around US$800m. Key concept here (again out of many) is molecules get dropped off here due to their ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion) properties. If you can't deliver the molecule to where it needs to go, it won't work as a drug.
Commercial: Out of Development, there is only about 1 molecule that becomes a drug. You've now spent upwards of US$1b including the cost of failures. The new drug has a patent for around 12 years or so (remember you patented it early in the Development phase). If you don't make that $1b back somehow, you won't be in business very long to develop other drugs. You now have cost of manufacture. This is usually pretty small for small molecule drugs that can be put into a pill, but can be expensive for large molecule (biologic) drugs that are intravenous (think insulin). You also have to collect data and send it to regulatory bodies (phase 4).
So this guy has found a few molecules (one that is hard to get any kind of quantity of from TFA) that are part of the 10k funnel at the beginning of the process. Could be that companies have other compounds that they are exploring that are further in the process. They may be seeing if those fail before starting to look at his. Super-bugs aren't new so companies may have been looking at them already (5 yr Discovery funnel).
And before anyone goes whining about Big Phara, think what you would do if you spent a billion dollars on developing ONE item and had tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of employees that you would like to keep around. How would you decide WHAT to develop and HOW to price it?