Cowen: Achaogen’s New Antibiotic Could Be Key to Solving Types of Drug Resistance

Published: Nov 17, 2014

Cowen: Achaogen’s New Antibiotic Could Be Key to Solving Types of Drug Resistance

November 18, 2014

By Riley McDermid, Breaking News Sr. Editor

Clinical stage biopharmaceutical company Achaogen's may be holding the tool global regulators needs to fight certain types of infections that are resistant to current antibiotics, Cowen & Co. biotech analyst Ritu Baral said Tuesday.

South San Francisco-based Achaogen is focused on developing novel antibacterials to treat multi-drug resistant (MDR) gram-negative infections. Its current leading candidate, plazomicin, has shown promising results in previous trials and analysts briefed on the matter have high hopes for the Phase 3 trials, which have many Wall Street watchers excited.

“We think Phase 3 plazomicin is a potent antibiotic with significant utility against life-threatening gram-negative infections resistant to current antibiotics,” wrote Baral in a note to investors Tuesday.

Plazomicin is a next-generation IV aminoglycoside in development for life-threatening resistant bacterial infections, she said. The drugs chemical modifications allow it to retain “potent” activity against many strains that have resistance mechanisms against other aminoglycosides and numerous other antibiotics classes.

“Resistant strains are strongly associated with poorer clinical outcomes and higher mortality, and their increasing prevalence represents a major public health concern,” she wrote. “We think Achaogen and plazomicin development and commercialization may benefit from new government and public health organization initiatives to promote the development and adoption of new antibiotics.”

Perhaps most importantly for Achaogen, plazomicin could become an important treatment for life-threatening carbapenem-resistance entercoccus (CRE) infections.

“Plazomicin retains potent activity against CRE and many other resistant strains,” said Baral. “Resistance in general, and CRE in particular, is a growing public health problem and we think Achaogen’s Phase 3 trial in CRE pneumonia and bloodstream infections has a good chance of success.”

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