Basilea shares plunge on antibiotic delay

Switzerland's Basilea took its turn on the public markets' whipping post, shedding 27 percent of share value after announcing that its antibiotic ceftobiprole had failed to quickly win over FDA regulators. The agency said that it would need more information on the antibiotic--which is partnered with Johnson & Johnson. In an approvable letter, the FDA outlined its requirements: more information on the drug's impact on diabetic foot infections, more time to assess the data submitted, and a review of the study sites used to test the therapy. Ceftobiprole is intended to treat complicated skin infections, including MRSA.

In a phone call with analysts, Basilea CEO Anthony Man declined to offer a timeline for an approval, but noted that the agency isn't asking for more studies. Researchers are also testing the drug as a possible therapy for pneumonia.

While analysts suggested that a 9 to 12-month delay was likely, at least one was pleased to see that the FDA was willing to go with Basilea's non-inferiority trial, which could have proved to be a sticking point.

- here's the release
- read the article from MarketWatch

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