FDA OKs Cubist antibiotic for complex abdominal, urinary tract infections

Markets Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new combination medicine to fight complex infections in the abdomen and urinary tract, the fourth antibiotic the agency has approved this year.

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The approval of Zerbaxa (SERR'-back-suh) is the second antibiotic approval this year for Cubist Pharmaceuticals, which agreed earlier this month to be acquired for $8.4 billion by the world's fourth-biggest drug maker, Merck & Co.

Zerbaxa treats Gram-negative bacteria, a group named for its appearance in Gram identification stains. It includes bacteria that cause life-threatening infectious diseases, including meningitis, cholera and bubonic plague, as well as food-borne illness due to salmonella and E. coli.

Cubist, of Lexington, Massachusetts, had its antibiotic Sivextro approved in June.