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Cubist Pharmaceuticals Applauds Congressman Gingrey for Introducing Legislation to Help Fight Superbug Infections

LEXINGTON, Mass., June 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today praised Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., and co-sponsors for introducing the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) Bill of 2011. This critical piece of legislation was crafted to help restore a robust antibiotic development pipeline to address the growing public health threat due to emerging multi-drug-resistant (MDR) bacteria.

The bi-partisan legislation calls for the enactment of specific economic and market incentives to entice pharmaceutical companies to develop new antibiotics to treat the growing number of serious infections caused by MDR bacteria. For example, the legislation's provision for extending the exclusivity granted to some badly-needed antibiotics is designed to have the same impact on antibiotic R&D as the Orphan Drug Act had on drugs to treat rare diseases, which now enjoy a healthy pipeline.

"Cubist Pharmaceuticals applauds Congressman Gingrey and his colleagues for their foresight in bringing the GAIN Bill forward," said Michael Bonney, President and CEO of Cubist Pharmaceuticals. "The antibiotic development pipeline is in danger of running dry.  Without policies to reverse this market failure, our public health system is at risk of increased treatment costs in the vicinity of $20 billion a year. In addition, our national security can be vulnerable to a bio-terrorist attack using antibiotic-resistant organisms."

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), which represents physicians, scientists and other health care professionals who specialize in infectious diseases, estimates there are 100,000 U.S. deaths each year from hospital-acquired infections due mostly to antibiotic-resistant pathogens. To help spur the pipeline, IDSA released the "Bad Bugs Need Drugs 10x20" plan, an initiative promoting the introduction of 10 new antibiotics into the U.S. market by 2020. The GAIN Bill supports this goal by bringing new incentives to companies to produce the next generation of antibiotics.

Gram-negative pathogens, such as Acinetobacter baumannii, are of particular concern. These often hard-to-treat bacteria are infecting troops returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq.  A 2006 study in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy showed that as many as 89 percent of sample infections at Walter Reed Army Medical Center caused by A. baumannii were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics and 15 percent were resistant to all nine antibiotics screened.  

As antibiotic resistant pathogens have been on the rise, the pipeline for antibiotics has taken a drastic downturn. A report in Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID) found that as of 2004 there were only five antibiotics in the R&D pipeline compared to 67 drugs in development for cancer, 33 for inflammation/pain, 34 for metabolic/endocrine disorders, and 32 for pulmonary disease.

"We are approaching a crisis point with antibiotic resistance and the lack of new drugs to treat resistant infections such as 'staph' and Acinetobacter is particularly worrisome," said Dr. Barry Eisenstein, Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Cubist.  "The gaps in our medical preparedness and our therapeutic options are not only substantial, but also growing. We encourage Congress and the Administration to act and implement the policies in the GAIN Bill to provide companies with the right incentives to restore a robust antibiotic pipeline and avoid this looming health crisis."

About Cubist

Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products that address unmet medical needs in the acute care environment. In the U.S., Cubist markets CUBICIN® (daptomycin for injection), the first antibiotic in a class of anti-infectives called lipopeptides, and has an agreement with Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to co-promote Optimer's drug, DIFICID™, in the U.S. as a treatment of Clostridium difficile infections. The Cubist clinical product pipeline currently consists of a Phase 2 program focused on the development of a novel cephalosporin to address certain serious infections caused by multi-drug resistant (MDR) Gram-negative organisms and a Phase 2 program for the treatment of CDAD (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea). Cubist also is working on several pre-clinical programs being developed to address areas of significant medical needs. These include therapies to treat various serious bacterial infections and agents to treat acute pain. Cubist is headquartered in Lexington, Mass. Additional information can be found at Cubist's web site at

Cubist and CUBICIN are registered trademarks of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

DIFICID is a trademark of Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

SOURCE Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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