Trius Strikes Antibiotic Deal With Bayer, Pockets $25M

Xconomy San Diego — 

San Diego-based Trius Therapeutics, the developer of a new antibiotic, said today it has secured its first big commercial partnership to market the experimental drug around the world.

Trius (NASDAQ: TSRX) said today that it has provided an exclusive license to Germany-based Bayer to develop and market torezolid phosphate in China, Japan, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and all other countries in Asia except North and South Korea. Bayer agreed to pay $25 million in upfront cash, pay one-fourth of the development expenses to secure regulatory approvals, provide $69 million in future milestone payments, and deliver Trius a double-digit percentage royalty on sales. Trius retains 100 percent ownership of the drug in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Bayer Healthcare’s chairman, Jorg Reinhardt, played up the China angle in his prepared statement. “Bacterial infectious diseases represent one of the largest therapeutic areas in China and continue to grow rapidly there and in other emerging markets,” he said.

The Trius drug is designed to be given as either an intravenous injection in the hospital, or as an oral pill, to fight acute skin infections and pneumonia. The treatment is in the third and final stage of clinical trials usually required for FDA approval. If it goes on to win regulatory approval, the Trius drug would be a new member of the class of oxazolidinones, which includes Pfizer’s billion-dollar hit, linezolid (Zyvox).

Shares of Trius climbed 3.3 percent to $8.05 at Noon Eastern today on news of the Bayer deal.