AZ, Forest ink anti-infective deal

Forest Laboratories has inked a collaboration agreement with AstraZeneca giving AZ the right to co-develop and market Forest's anti-infective drug ceftaroline outside the United States, Canada and Japan. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but AstraZeneca is paying Forest a signing fee, royalties on sales and additional milestones.

There's been an increasing need for new antibiotics as strains of common infections have become immune to older drugs. Ceftaroline is a late-stage drug being tested as a treatment of complicated skin and skin structure infections and community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. Forest anticipates filing for FDA approval of the drug this year, while AstraZeneca will pursue European approval of the anti-infective in 2010.

"AstraZeneca and Forest Laboratories, through a successful partnership, aim to battle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. This collaboration complements our existing antibiotic Merrem, and our significant investment in antibiotic research, as well as agents in development such as CytoFab. We are excited to be partnering with Forest and to be part of ceftaroline's future," said AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan.

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