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New Licence for Cubicin(R) (daptomycin), the First in a Novel Class of Antibiotic, is Announced Today for the Treatment of Serious Bloodstream and Heart Infections Caused by the Most Problematic UK Organisms, Including MRSA
Date:9/12/2007

FRIMLEY, England, September 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

- Physicians Welcome New Option for Potentially Life Threatening Disease

- Daptomycin has a Rapidly Bactericidal Mode of Action

The launch of daptomycin for the treatment of both methicillin-sensitive and resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA and MRSA) bloodstream infections (bacteraemia) and heart infections (right-sided infective endocarditis) has been announced today by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd.(1) Daptomycin, one of only two new classes of antibiotic in over 20 years, has been shown to be as effective as existing agents in treating a range of serious Gram-positive infections, offering an important new option for healthcare professionals.

MRSA is a frequent cause of bacteraemia and is associated with serious complications, including endocarditis (in 30-40% of cases) and has a high mortality rate.(2) Over 7,000 people each year contract bacteraemia and the incidence is rising.(3) From 1993 to 2005 the number of deaths increased from 51 to 1,629.(4) There is evidence that some strains of MRSA are developing resistance to existing antibiotic options.(5) Daptomycin, which is rapidly bactericidal, has a specific mode of action, which reduces the likelihood of resistance developing. Daptomycin's once daily dosing and tolerability profile, with no need for therapeutic drug monitoring, has the potential to simplify the management of patients with complicated infections.

Dr Andrew Seaton, consultant in infectious diseases, Gartnavel general hospital, Glasgow welcomed the news, commenting; "Serious staphylococcal infections are extremely challenging for hospital specialists to treat, with about 40% in the UK now resistant to first line therapy. Daptomycin is a fast acting agent in these potentially difficult situations and is well tolerated by patients. This is an extremely important and welcomed development in the battle against serious MRSA infection."

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SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd
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