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BEECHAM ANTIBIOTIC RESEARCH FOCUSING ON "NEW FAMILY" OF BETA RESISTANT AGENTS; PRECISE ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIONS WOULD COMPLEMENT BROAD SPECTRUM AUGMENTIN

Executive Summary

Beecham research into a new class of beta resistant antibiotics is beginning to bear fruit with the overseas introduction of Temopen (temocillin), the U.K. firm noted in its recently released annual report for fiscal 1984 ended March 31. Seeking to complement its new broad spectrum clavulanic acid combination antibiotics, Augmentin and Timentin, Beecham reported that "a new family of compounds is being developed which combines a greater ability to resist beta-lactamases with more precisely defined areas of antibacterial activity." Beechan added that "together with the clavulanic acid-based products, (BRACKET)the new class of antibiotics(BRACKET) will provide doctors with a full range of therapeutic agents for the treatment of infections caused by resistant organisms." Temopen, approved in W. Germany this spring, is currently in early clinicals in the U.S. Beecham said that the injectable antibiotic "is particularly suitable for the treatment of severe respiratory tract and urinary tract infections and septicemia." The report notes that Temopen "achieves high and prolonged concentrations in the blood, so that injections are necessary at comparatively infrequent intervals; and because it is resistant to virtually all beta lactamases it is more effective than other compounds with similar antibacterial characteristics." Beecham said that each of the beta lactamase resistant compounds in development "will be based on a different nucleus produced by chemical means from the nucleus of penicillin." Beecham's research into antibiotics resistant to beta lactamase began in 1974, the firm noted. Amoxil U.S. Volume Grew 29% In 1984 As Antibiotics Business Rebounds From Generic Competition, Beecham Says Following the recently approved Augmentin (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid), the firm has two other antibiotics in the late stages of development in the U.S., including Timentin (ticarcillin/clavulanic acid) and Bactroban (pseudomonic acid). "Marketing approval is now being sought" for Bactroban as a topical antibiotic, the report points out. Beecham received FDA approval for the broad spectrum Augmentin on Aug. 6 and is gearing up for a market launch in mid-September ("The Pink Sheet" Aug. 13, p. 3) Beecham noted that its current antibiotic business in the U.S., built around its amoxicillin product line, is making a comeback against generic competitors. The report states that Amoxil, with a 29% sales increase in the U.S. during FY 1984, "has now regained the pre-eminence in the U.S. amoxicillin market" the drug held before generic encroachment in the 1970s. Beecham said that, with its Larotid brand of amoxicillin, the firm now "holds more than two-thirds of the U.S. amoxicillin market." Beecham needs the new antibiotics in the U.S. market to help break four years of virtual stagnation in its pharmaceutical business. In 1981, Beecham had worldwide pharmaceutical sales of $820 mil.; last year, drug sales were $796 mil. Outside of the antibiotic area, Beecham reported that its coronary thrombosis agent, BRL-26921, "is now undergoing clinical evaluation in Continental Europe, the U.S., Latin America and the U.K." The firm also noted that clinical trials of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory nabumetone in W. Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have been completed, and that Phase III studies are still in progress in the U.S.

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