SHAFAQNA –The US Food and Drug Administration has just approved another new medication this week. This new drug is intended to fight more complex infections, specifically in the abdomen and the urinary tract. And it is the fourth antibiotic that the FDA has approved since May.
This new drug is called Zerbaxa and it will hopefully treat serious, persistent bacteria, like E. coli, which can cause even more life-threatening infections.
This is the second antibiotic approval this year for Cubits Pharmaceuticals. They focus specifically on antibiotics, which is probably going to be a very important area of focus over the next few years as more and more antibiotic-resistant bacteria continue to crop up.
This is a dangerous problem that has been brewing since the early 1990s. Unfortunately, this problem is the result of overuse of antibiotics in many industries: in the agriculture industry, with farm animals to help keep them healthy so they can grow faster and in the medical industry, to treat speculative conditions instead of diagnosing them and treating them with the proper medications or techniques.
This problem actually led Congress to legislate expedition of review and five years of additional marketing exclusivity for antibiotics and antifungal drugs that can treat very serious infections.
And Zerbaxa is the first new drug approved under this new law which treats Gram-negative bacteria; a particularly difficult bacteria group that are related to life-threatening infections that do not have many treatment options. This could include meningitis and cholera, to name a couple; but be certain that drug has not been approved to treat those two conditions specifically.
Merck & Co are supposedly picking up the new drug from Cubist Pharmaceuticals for $8.4 billion.
Dr. Edward Cox, director of the FDA’s Office of Antimicrobial Products commented on the approval, “We must continue to help foster the development of new antibacterial drugs and encourage prudent use of existing treatments to conserve their utility.”