October 18, 2011 / 6:25 AM / in 6 years

Astra, Forest to start Phase 3 superbug drug study

LONDON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca and Forest Laboratories are to launch a final-stage Phase III trial programme for a new treatment against “superbug” bacterial infections.

The partners said on Tuesday they aimed to submit ceftazidime/avibactam (CAZ-AVI) for regulatory approval in 2014.

CAZ-AVI combines a broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic and a novel beta-lactamase inhibitor to overcome antibiotic-resistance and treat the increasing number of infections resistant to existing therapies.

A series of five Phase III studies will test the product in hospitalised patients with serious Gram-negative bacterial infections in the abdomen and urinary tract.

Forest will have rights to commercialise CAZ-AVI in North America while AstraZeneca will sell it elsewhere. Both companies will share development costs.

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