Pfizer says its experimental antibiotic combo can treat some superbug infections


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Pfizer said on Thursday (June 1) data from late-stage trials showed its experimental combination of antibiotics was effective in treating deadly infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria.

Deaths from antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs, have been on the rise globally, and health regulators have called for the development of newer treatments as resistance to older antibiotics grows.

The late-stage studies compared the experimental combination of the antibiotics aztreonam-avibactam (ATM-AVI) and existing generic drug metronidazole with a combination of two older antibiotics – meropenem and colistin – to treat complicated intra-abdominal infections and types of hospital-acquired pneumonia.

Hospital-acquired pneumonia occurs in patients at least two to three days after being admitted, or in those who have life-threatening lung infections with high mortality rates and who are on mechanical breathing machines.

Pfizer said the data from the studies shows the antibiotic combination of ATM-AVI is effective and well-tolerated in treating infections caused by gram-negative bacteria.

The cure rate in patients with complicated intra-abdominal infections with Pfizer’s combination therapy, along with existing generic drug metronidazole, was 76.4%, versus 74% using the other antibiotics.

For patients with types of hospital-acquired pneumonia and ventilator‐associated pneumonia, the cure rate was 45.9% for Pfizer’s antibiotic combination with metronidazole, versus 41.7% for other, older treatments.


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