AstraZeneca's new antibiotic comes through in Phase III

AstraZeneca's ($AZN) antibiotic combination treatment beat out standard meropenem in treating complicated infections, the company said, setting the table for a near-term shot at regulatory approval. The treatment is a blend of the antibacterial agents ceftazidime and avibactam, dubbed CAZ-AVI, designed to treat a broad range of Gram-negative bacterial infections that are rapidly becoming resistant to standard therapy. In two Phase III trials, CAZ-AVI significantly improved cure rates of complicated intra-abdominal infections compared with the tried-and-true injectable meropenem, providing the basis for regulatory filings next year, AstraZeneca said. The treatment, also being studied in urinary tract infections and pneumonia, is part of a collaboration with Actavis' ($ACT) Forest Laboratories. More