Categorized | Colorado News, National News, News

65 Year Old Antibiotic Gets New Life

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2 million Americans get infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year and 23,000 die. Many antibiotics no longer work well, or at all, against some bacterial infections, due to their overuse in medicine and livestock production.

A new drug also known as omadacycline, is the first in a new class of antibiotics. It’s an updated version of tetracycline, a 65-year-old antibiotic that was a standard of care against skin, respiratory and other infections until increasing resistance limited its use. Paratek created its drug by tweaking tetracycline to block two common ways bacteria use to resist it.

Paratek Pharmaceuticals’ Nuzyra was designed to overcome the problem of resistance to tetracycline, an antibiotic widely used until recent years.

The company said the Food and Drug Administration approved Nuzyra for treating bacterial pneumonia and severe skin infections. Paratek plans to launch the antibiotic early next year, initially for use in hospitals. Boston-based Paratek estimates its drug could eventually treat nearly 900,000 hospitalized U.S. patients annually. It hasn’t disclosed the price.

Read the Associated Press story in The New York Times

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