Paratek forges $485M pact with Novartis on blockbuster antibiotic

Boston-based Paratek Pharmaceuticals scored a worldwide licensing deal with Novartis for its late-stage antibiotic, PTK 0796, which some analysts peg as a likely blockbuster.

Paratek didn't disclose the upfront fee, but said the deal was worth up to $485 million in milestones and fees combined. Novartis says it was attracted to the program by its potential to become the first broad spectrum, once-daily antibiotic that could be given both orally as well as intravenously to fight drug-resistant bacteria. Novartis and Paratek say they will share responsibility on developing the antibiotic from this point.

"The advantage over other such antibiotics already on the market is that it can be given in one dose, while for example Pfizer Inc.'s (PFE) Zyvox needs to be given in two doses a day," noted Michael Nawrath of Zuercher Kantonalbank, adding that the antibiotic has the potential to break the billion-dollar mark when it hits its peak. "Bacterial resistance, including MRSA, is a growing problem and despite the extensive use of generic drugs, there is a significant opportunity for new products," Citi analysts said.

"This deal will also help us to bring PTK 0796 to the market without the need for additional financing in this currently challenging and unpredictable economic environment," said Paratek CEO Thomas J. Bigger.

- check out the press release
- here's the piece from the Boston Globe
- read the Dow Jones story
- here's the Reuters piece