Tetraphase soars after releasing late-stage study results for infection fighter eravacycline

MarketsAssociated Press

Shares of Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals soared Thursday morning, a day after the drug developer said its potential infection fighter eravacycline fared well compared to another treatment in late-stage clinical testing.

The Watertown, Massachusetts, company said eravacycline proved to be not inferior to a competing drug, ertapenem, and patients taking it had no serious, drug-related side effects, according to early results from the study.

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A non-inferior finding essentially means that the drug did not show superiority or inferiority to the other treatment. That determination was the main goal of the study.

The antibiotic aims to treat complicated intra-abdominal infections, and company officials said in a statement released late Wednesday that the study results suggest that it also could be used for other serious infections.

Antibiotic-resistant infections are drawing growing concern from global health organizations. These infections are linked to 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses in the United States annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tetraphase is still conducting another late-stage study of eravacycline in patients with complicated urinary tract infections and expects results by the middle of next year. The company is aiming to submit the drug to the Food and Drug Administration for approval by the end of next year.

Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals Inc., which held an initial public offering of stock last year, has no products on the market. Eravacycline is its most advanced drug.

Shares of the drugmaker jumped more than 15 percent, or $5.11, to $38.30 shortly after markets opened Thursday, while broader trading indexes climbed around 1 percent. That stock price has already more than doubled since closing 2013 at $13.52.