New Treatment for MRSA Emerges

Daptomycin, a newly approved antibiotic has been shown to be effective for treating Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The exciting news is that it’s the first of it’s kind, and it can be used to treat other complicated infections caused by Gram positive bacteria.

The drug, marketed as Cubicin, is a natural product derived from the fermentation of Streptomyces roseosporus, a spore found in the soil. The study was reported at the 2008 Annual Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance, held in Bethesda, Maryland. The antibacterial agent was also effective for the treatment of methicillin-susceptible S aureus (MSSA), infections known to prolong hospitalization and result in exorbitant costs for hospitalization.

According to a Medscape Infectious Diseases interview with Kenneth Lamp, PharmD, senior director of Registry Research for Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc, in Lexington, Massachusetts, “Since daptomycin has equivalent activity for MRSA and MSSA, we sought to examine the outcomes after daptomycin treatment for patients infected with MRSA or MSSA reported to a retrospective registry."

Evaluation of the drug included 434 patients - 338 had MRSA and 96 had MSSA. Of those, one third had failed treatment with Vancomycin, a primary and potent antibiotic used to treat MRSA. Daptomycin was used as first line therapy for 95 of the patients. "In this set of patients, methicillin resistance did not appear to have an impact on the clinical success rates at the end of daptomycin therapy," according to Dr. Lamp.

According to the drug manufacturer, daptomycin has a rapid effect on killing MRSA bacteria, especially when compared to Vancomycin. The effects suppress the growth of bacteria for up to six hours following administration. Resistance to the antibiotic, though seen in the laboratory, has been rare, yet more good news.

You can read more about the drug, including dosing, side effects and precautions at CubicinÃ’,Cubist Pharmaceuticals.

Source: 2008 Annual Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance: Abstract P9. June 23–25, 2008.

Reference: Daptomycin May Be Effective for Skin and Skin Structure Infections

Helpful Link: Drug Discovery From Natural Sources