FDA: Advisory Panel Recommends New Antibiotic
An FDA advisory committee Friday recommended approval of a new antibiotic to treat drug-resistant infections often acquired in hospitals, such as pneumonia, skin infections and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (Schmid, AP/Orange County Register, 3/25). The drug, Zyvox, is a synthetically produced compound that comes from the first new class of antibiotics to be developed in decades, known as oxazolidinones. Pharmacia & Upjohn officials said that, unlike other antibiotics, Zyvox works by attacking bacteria at an "early stage of their production of protein," which the organism needs to multiply and survive. The FDA will fast-track its decision on the medication, with a final judgment expected by next month. If approved, the drug will compete with Aventis Pharmaceutical's Synercid, another new antibiotic approved last fall to treat similar infections. Although Synercid has proven effective, public health officials have raised concern that bacteria resistance to that drug may develop quickly among humans who eat or handle meat and poultry, because the antibiotic is closely related to a drug used for decades in animal feed (Kaufman, Washington Post, 3/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.