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Targanta Study Shows Oritavancin Treatment Effective in a Mouse,Model of Anthrax

treatments began 24 hours after exposure to B. anthracis spores. Survival rates at 30 days post- exposure were as follows: 90 percent survival with CIP and 100 percent survival with ORI treatment at doses equal to or greater than 3 mg/kg intraperitoneally (multiple dose) or 50 mg/kg intravenously (single dose).

A follow-up experiment showed that ORI or CIP provided significant survival rates even when the start of treatment was delayed to either 36 or 48 hours post-exposure to spores (i.e., until symptoms had begun to appear). In this experiment, ORI was administered at 10 mg/kg once every 2 days while CIP was administered at 30 mg/kg twice daily. Treatments were provided intraperitoneally for 14 days and survivorship was measured at 30 days.

In addition, a single 50 mg/kg intravenous dose of ORI administered 24 hours prior to anthrax exposure provided a 100 percent survival rate at 30 days.

Researchers at USAMRIID and Targanta concluded that their results provide impetus for investigation of whether ORI could serve as an effective therapy for anthrax exposure, requiring fewer doses compared to CIP, or perhaps even as a potential prophylactic agent.

B. anthracis, a bacterium that forms spores and causes anthrax, has been recognized for more than 60 years as a potential biological warfare agent. Such was the case in 2001, when B. anthracis spores were distributed through the U.S. Postal Service, causing 22 cases of anthrax, including five deaths. If treated promptly B. anthracis usually responds effectively to several antibiotics including penicillin, doxycycline and fluoroquinolones (including ciprofloxacin). Though ciprofloxacin is the current standard of treatment for exposure, anthrax has the possibility of being engineered to be multi-drug resistant, which would complicate treatment. The World Health Organization estimates that 50 kg of B. anthracis spores effectively released in a population of 500,000 people would result in 95,000
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