Austrian Biotech Scores a Phase III Win in the Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance

The novel antibiotic lefamulin brought home late-stage success to Nabriva by proving itself to be on par with the standard treatment in pneumonia.

Novartis spinout Nabriva has been developing antibiotics since 2006 and now boasts over 150 employees and a $285M (€239M) market cap. The company just reported that its latest stage program, centered on lefamulin for community-acquired bacterial pneumonia, reached its primary endpoint in a Phase III clinical trial. Nabriva was hoping that the small molecule would prove non-inferior to the standard treatment, moxifloxacin, and indeed, the clinical response rate came in at 87.3% compared to 90.2% for moxifloxacin.

Before the market opened this morning, shares of Nabriva doubled in price, though they have since retreated to ‘only’ a 50% increase. The biotech went public on Nasdaq in 2015, though it seemed to have lost some momentum after Orbimed and Vivo Capital stepped up with a $120M (€110M) venture round. Investors seem to be confident in this top Vienna biotech and its novel antibiotic, a pleuromutilin, that is joining the likes of Basilea, AiCuris, Curetis and RedHill in the fight against the antibiotic resistance crisis.


Image via Lightspring / shutter

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