New antibiotic available to treat adults with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia

Aug. 20, 2019

Nabriva Therapeutics plc, a biopharmaceutical company has announced approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for new drug applications for the oral and intravenous (IV) formulations of Xenleta (lefamulin) for the treatment of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) in adults.

The company says that as the first IV and oral antibiotic with a novel mechanism of action approved by the FDA in nearly two decades, XENLETA represents an important new empiric monotherapy treatment option for adults with CABP.

“Emergency departments across the country treat hundreds of thousands of patients with CABP each year. Many of these patients, especially elderly patients with comorbidities, are admitted solely because of the lack of an effective and well-tolerated oral treatment option” said Philip Giordano, MD, Vice Chairman of Emergency Medicine at the Orlando Regional Medical Center, in a statement. “With a new oral antibiotic option that has been shown to be as effective as a respiratory fluoroquinolone, possessing a favorable side effect profile, we can consider sending more patients home directly from the emergency department and avoid costly hospitalizations, which is good for both patient care and the health system.”

Ted Schroeder, Chief Executive Officer of Nabriva Therapeutics explained how the drug works. “XENLETA has a mechanism of action that is different than other approved antibiotics, resulting in a low propensity for the development of resistance, as well as a lack of cross-resistance with the beta-lactam, fluoroquinolone, glycopeptide, macrolide, and tetracycline antibiotic classes. XENLETA has a targeted in vitro spectrum of activity against the most common causative Gram-positive, Gram-negative and atypical pathogens associated with CABP, which aligns with the principles of antimicrobial stewardship.”

XENLETA is available for oral (600 mg every 12 hours) and IV (150 mg every 12 hours) administration with a short 5-to-7 day course of therapy. Clinicians can initiate patients on IV or oral therapy, allowing for potential avoidance of hospitalization, or can transition from IV to oral therapy, which may expedite discharge from the hospital. Currently, the median length of stay for patients with pneumonia is 3-to-4 days, resulting in approximately $17 billion in hospital costs per year in the United States. The opportunity to avoid a hospital admission or to discharge a patient earlier on oral therapy benefits patients and may result in significant savings to the health system.

Both the IV and oral formulations of XENLETA were granted Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) and Fast Track designation by the FDA. The FDA approval was based on a clinical development program supported by a robust data package, including two pivotal, Phase 3 trials (known as LEAP 1 and LEAP 2) that evaluated the safety and efficacy of IV and oral XENLETA compared to moxifloxacin in the treatment of adults with CABP. LEAP 1 was designed to evaluate 5-to-7 days of IV/oral therapy of XENLETA versus 7-days of IV/oral moxifloxacin, with or without linezolid, with both treatment groups having the option to switch from IV to oral administration after 3-days. LEAP 2 evaluated 5-days of oral XENLETA versus 7-days of oral moxifloxacin. LEAP 1 showed comparable efficacy with moxifloxacin, with or without linezolid, while LEAP 2 showed comparable efficacy with moxifloxacin, with two fewer days of therapy. XENLETA was generally well tolerated in both LEAP 1 and LEAP 2.

Nabriva expects XENLETA will be available through major U.S. specialty distributors in mid-September 2019. XENLETA will have a wholesale acquisition (WAC) price of $205 per IV patient treatment day and $275 per oral patient treatment day.

“The gravity of antimicrobial resistance cannot be overstated, particularly in the context of treating pneumonia,” said Julio Ramirez, MD, FACP, Professor of Medicine, and Chief within the Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Louisville School of Medicine. “As an infectious disease specialist who treats CABP patients in the hospital setting, I am grateful to have both a new IV and oral option that gives me confidence that my patients will continue to receive appropriate therapy once they are discharged from the hospital.”