FDA OKs Cubist antibiotic for serious infections

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new combination medicine to fight complex infections in the abdomen and urinary tract, the fourth antibiotic the agency has approved this year.

The approval of Zerbaxa is the second antibiotic approval this year for Cubist Pharmaceuticals, which agreed earlier this month to be acquired for $8.4 billion by the world’s fourth-biggest drug maker, Merck & Co.

Zerbaxa treats Gram-negative bacteria, a group named for its appearance in Gram identification stains. It includes bacteria that cause life-threatening infectious diseases, including meningitis, cholera and bubonic plague, as well as food-borne illness due to salmonella and E. coli.

Cubist, of Lexington, Massachusetts, had its antibiotic Sivextro approved in June.

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