Healthcare Industry News:  ceftobiprole 

Biopharmaceuticals Wound Care

 News Release - October 8, 2007

New Data Show Ceftobiprole as Effective as Combination Therapy in Treating Patients with Diabetic Foot Infections

RARITAN, N.J., Oct. 8 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. today announced results from a Phase III trial that showed that investigational antibiotic ceftobiprole was found to clinically cure 86% of patients with diabetic foot infections -- including some infections that were caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

These data were presented at the 45th annual meeting of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) in San Diego, California. ceftobiprole is licensed from, and is being co-developed with, Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd.

Staphylococcus aureus is the predominant Gram-positive+ bacteria associated with many infections, including complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI) and is carried by approximately 25-30% of the U.S. population. During the last 30 years, MRSA has become more prevalent as a cause of complicated skin and skin structure infections, including diabetic foot infections, which are particularly challenging to treat. In 1974, MRSA accounted for 2% of all Staphylococcus infections in the U.S. In 2004, this figure had risen to 63%.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), nearly 21 million Americans suffer from diabetes. Diabetic foot infections can develop in the skin, muscle, or bones of the foot as a result of nerve damage and poor circulation associated with diabetes. A recent ADA study approximates that as many as 9% of Americans with diabetes will develop a diabetic foot infection, and that those who do develop such an infection are 55.7 times more likely to require hospitalization and 154.5 times more at risk of amputation.

ceftobiprole belongs to a class of antibacterial agents known as cephalosporins, which are used to treat serious infections caused by Gram- negative++ and Gram-positive+ bacteria. In clinically evaluable patients, 500mg of ceftobiprole administered intravenously every eight hours (500mg IV q8h) demonstrated an 86.2% cure rate compared to an 81.8% cure rate seen with the combination of 1g of vancomycin administered intravenously every 12 hours (1g IV q12h) plus 1g of ceftazidime administered intravenously every eight hours (1g IV q8h).

"Diabetic foot infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat," said study author, Gary J. Noel, M.D., Franchise Medical Leader, Anti- Infectives, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. "These data suggest that ceftobiprole may be useful as stand-alone therapy for this increasingly common type of complicated skin infection."

The use of ceftobiprole in adults for the treatment of complicated skin and skin structure infections, including diabetic foot infections (without concomitant osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone or bone marrow), is under regulatory review in the United States, Europe, Switzerland, Australia and Canada. These data, along with the regulatory submissions, demonstrate the ongoing commitment of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., to developing novel drugs for the anti-infective market.

Study Design

In a Phase III, multi-center, double-blind trial, 257 patients with diabetic foot infections without concomitant osteomyelitis, were randomized to receive either 500mg of ceftobiprole administered intravenously every eight hours (500mg IV q8h) or 1g of vancomycin administered intravenously every 12 hours (1g IV q12h) plus 1g of ceftazidime administered intravenously every eight hours (1g IV q8h). Severity of diabetic foot infections among the 257 patients varied. Severity was mild (grade 2) in 27%, moderate (grade 3) in 59%, and severe (grade 4) in 13% of trial patients. Additionally, 67% of patients were microbiologically evaluable. The most common pathogens associated with these infections were MSSA (37%), MRSA (15%), E. cloacae (9%), S. agalactiae (8%), P. mirabilis (8%), and P. aeruginosa (8%).

ceftobiprole was well tolerated and the incidence of adverse events in ceftobiprole-treated patients was similar to those observed in the vancomycin plus ceftazidime-treated patients.

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C.

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. (J&JPRD) is part of Johnson & Johnson, the world's most broadly-based producer of healthcare products. J&JPRD is headquartered in Raritan, N.J., and has facilities throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. J&JPRD is leveraging drug discovery and drug development in a variety of therapeutic areas to address unmet medical needs worldwide.

[This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the Company's expectations and projections. Risks and uncertainties include general industry conditions and competition; economic conditions, such as interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; technological advances and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approvals; domestic and foreign health care reforms and governmental laws and regulations; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Exhibit 99 of Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2006. Copies of this Form 10-K, as well as subsequent filings, are available online at www.sec.gov or on request from the Company. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events or developments.]

For more information on Johnson & Johnson, please visit the Company's web site at www.jnj.com.

+ Gram-positive indicates a group of bacteria that become blue when the bacterial cells are treated with Gram stain. This response is based on the chemical and physical properties of their cell walls and is used to identify the type of bacteria. Some Gram-positive bacteria may cause serious infections.

++ Gram-negative indicates a group of bacteria that become red when the bacterial cells are treated with Gram stain method. This response is based on the chemical and physical properties of their cell walls and is used to identify the type of bacteria. Some Gram-negative bacteria may cause serious infections.


Source: Johnson & Johnson

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