WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a new antibiotic from Cubist Pharmaceuticals to treat common skin infections often acquired in the hospital.
Regulators cleared the company's Sivextro as a pill and as an intravenous solution for adults with skin infections caused by bacteria that are often resistant to older antibiotics.
It's the second FDA approval in less than a month for a new antibiotic to treat such infections. In late May, the FDA approved a similar drug from Durata Therapeutics Inc.
Antibiotics like penicillin and streptomycin first became widely available in the 1940s, and today dozens are still used to kill or suppress the bacteria behind illnesses ranging from strep throat to urinary-tract infections. The drugs are considered one of the greatest advances in the history of medicine, and have saved countless lives.
But in recent decades some common bacteria have grown resistant to antibiotics that were once highly effective. Experts say overuse and misuse of the drugs by physicians has contributed to the rise of these so-called superbugs.
The FDA gave Sivextro an expedited review under a 2012 law designed to encourage drugmakers to invest in researching and development of new antibiotics. Under the measure, Cubist will receive an additional five years of exclusive marketing rights to the drug.
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