Another antibiotics firm forced into sale

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Doucefleur)
(Image: Getty/Doucefleur)

Related tags Antibiotics AMR Tetraphase AcelRx

Tetraphase will be bought out by AcelRx, after the former’s antibiotic struggled commercially.

In another worrying sign for the development of antibiotics, Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals agreed to be bought out by AcelRx, as it suffered low sales from its only product.

Xerava (eravacycline) is an antibiotic approved to treat complicated intra-abdominal infections, which only received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in August 2018.

Less than two years later, the product only achieved sales of $3.6m (€3.2m) in full year 2019 results.

With the company releasing financials showing that it suffered a net loss of $11.4m in the fourth quarter of 2019 alone, the company was left with little choice but to seek a buyout.

AcelRx stepped in to offer $14.4m and an additional $12.5m dependent on the sales of Xerava.

At the time of Xerava’s approval, Tetraphase had a share price of $62, which has subsequently fallen to $0.83, at the time of writing.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020.

Difficulties developing antibiotics

The regulatory appetite for an increased stock of antibiotic products is evident, with the FDA recently expanding the label of Zerbaxa (ceftolozane and tazobactam), stating that the combating antimicrobial-resistant infections was a driver​.

However, this has not stopped antibiotic-focused companies running into difficulties, whether due to the lack of revenue raised by such products​ or the expense required to make it through to approval​ not weighing against the potential revenue.

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