Targanta Antibiotic Shown Effective in Less-Frequent Dose

Xconomy Boston — 

Targanta Therapeutics, the Cambridge,MA-based developer of potent hospital-based antibiotics, is on the rise today. The company’s oritavancin treatment, in a single dose or an infrequent dose, showed comparable safety and effectiveness to a three-to-seven day course of therapy tested in previous trials against complicated skin infections. The new results came from a mid-stage clinical trial called Simplifi, which enrolled 300 patients.

Shares of Targanta (NASDAQ: TARG) climbed 5 percent to $7.40 at 11:38 a.m. Eastern time today.

Oritavancin is Targanta’s lead drug candidate against tough-to-treat skin infections, like the antibiotic-resistant pathogen that makes headlines, MRSA. Two previous trials met their goals in the more frequent dose, and the company is using that data to seek FDA approval. The agency’s deadline to review that application is Dec. 8, but Targanta already has its sights set on improving the product. “A single or infrequent dosing regimen could make oritavancin the go-to drug of choice among physicians who are seeking an effective and convenient weapon for their antibiotic armamentarium,” said Mark Leuchtenberger, Targanta’s CEO, in a statement.

Targanta’s statement today didn’t include details on exactly how the single-dose regimen stacked up with the earlier trial results. The full data on the Simplifi trial should be presented by the end of the year, the company said. For now, it is being used to design a Phase III clinical trial that could pave the way for usage in the single-dose format.