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ActivBiotics Proposes Development Strategy for Its Novel Rifamycin Antibiotics

WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Joseph F. Finn, Jr., CPA, the Assignee for the Benefit of Creditors of ActivBiotics, as a result of growing interest from prospective buyers, announced today a development strategy for further advancement of the company's proprietary benzoxazinorifamycins as leading antibacterial drug candidates in combination antibiotic therapy. Rifalazil is the most developed of these compounds, though most of the interest for combination antibiotics has centered on novel compounds or new chemical entities ("NCEs").

Combination antibiotic therapy has been used as the treatment of choice for certain stubborn bacterial infections. Two prime examples are tuberculosis and gastric ulcer disease, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and Helicobacter pylori infection, respectively. In both of these examples, the rifamycins rifampin and rifabutin have been used because of their potency against these pathogens. However, these rifamycins share the negative attribute of eliciting drug-drug interactions; that is, they interfere with the actions of many other medications that the patient may require. The NCEs are breakthrough drug candidates because they have not been shown preclinically to engender drug-drug interactions caused by the other rifamycins. In addition the NCEs have equal or superior potency compared with rifampin.

There is increasing recognition that rifamycins (e.g. rifampin and ABI- 0043) are highly efficacious against implant-associated staphylococcal infection. This property is due to their excellent efficacy against non- growing and surface-adhering staphylococci. No other class of antimicrobial agents shares this property. In view of the growing number of patients with implants (artificial joints, internal fixation devices, vascular grafts etc.) there is an urgent need for this type of antibiotic. "The development of an NCE for combination antibiotic treatment could be extremely beneficial," commented Werner Zimmerli, M.D., a leading infectious disease clinician and researcher at the University of Basel, Switzerland. "In our animal model for implant-associated infections, which has proven to be clinically predictive of combination antibiotic efficacy for the treatment of foreign body infections, the NCE ABI-0043 was as effective as rifampin. The fact that ABI-0043 is not predicted to have drug-drug interactions provides a very significant advantage over rifampin, which cannot be given, for example, in patients with oral anticoagulation due to dangerous interaction." In addition, based on their antibacterial spectrum and potency against key pathogens, the NCEs may also be developed for the treatment of bacterial endocarditis, osteomyelitis, acute and chronic respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, and acne.

The sale of ActivBiotics' assets, including rifalazil and the NCEs, is being conducted through an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors. The bidding for the assets, which may be purchased separately or in combination, is scheduled for March 14, 2008.

For additional information on the terms of sale and to obtain a bidder's package, please contact Joseph F. Finn, Jr., CPA (, phone 781-237-8840), Finn, Warnke & Gayton, 167 Worcester Street, Suite 201, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481-3613. For technical information on the assets, please contact Christo Shalish,

SOURCE ActivBiotics, Inc.
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