Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche will be paying up to $750 million for rights to a new molecule, 0P0595, is in the first phase of development that helps boost the efficiency of antibiotics to fight increasingly resistant bacteria. Roche said, "The deal with Japan's Meiji Seika Pharma and Canada's Fedora would allow us to develop and market beta-lactamase inhibitor OP0595 worldwide, except in Japan where Meiji will retain the rights."
Roche will make an initial payment to the two companies, a statement said without divulging the exact sum. But it added that the final payout could reach $750 million (636 million euros).
Approximately 65 percent of global antibiotic sales are of the beta-lactam class of antibiotics which includes penicillins, cephalosporins, monobactams and carbapenems. However, the efficacy of these life-saving antibiotics is threatened by rising bacterial resistance caused by beta-lactamase enzymes which render the antibiotics increasingly ineffective. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than two million patients are affected by drug-resistant infections each year in the United States, with direct healthcare costs as high as $20 billion.
Janet Hammond from Roche's research unit said, "There is an urgent need for new antibiotics able to combat the increasing resistance to antibiotics that is being seen worldwide."
Christopher G. Micetich, founder and CEO of Fedora Pharmaceuticals said, "The properties of OP0595 and its ability to be combined with new or existing beta-lactam antibiotics promise a significant advance in the battle against increasing multi-drug-resistant bacteria."