16. Recarbrio

Merck
(Merck)

Active ingredient: imipenem, cilastatin, and relebactam
Disease: complicated UTIs and abdominal infections
Peak sales estimate: n/a
Approved: July 17, 2019
Company: Merck

The scoop: While many Big Pharma companies have exited antibiotic R&D work, Merck is pressing along and this summer won FDA approval for Recarbrio to treat complicated urinary tract infections and complicated intra-abdominal infections. While the drugmaker hasn’t scored major commercial success in the field since its $8.5 billion Cubist buyout, it’s not giving up on the challenge of antibiotic resistance. Recarbrio is indicated for use when patients don’t have other options, so that factor limits its market and sales potential. Recarbrio’s FDA nod followed a label expansion into certain types of pneumonia for Zerbaxa, an antibiotic picked up in the Cubist buyout. — Eric Sagonowsky

16. Recarbrio

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