What a perfect title for a Sci-fi… “The Great Filter”
On a research note, this topic is what drives us to explore. Has any species of the universe ever punched a hole through The Great Filter? Is the Great Filter a stopgap for us… for any species preventing us/them from infecting the cosmos? I recently read a novelette by Rann Murray called, Ascension. In this hard sci-fi, Murray hits upon this exact topic; that maybe the stopgap is in of itself a living entity.
Here is a good TED Talk about The Great Filter.