Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in

MSD launches antibiotic combo Recarbrio in UK

Therapeutic indicated to treat infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria

MSD (also known as Merck & Co) has launched its novel antibiotic combination Recarbrio in the UK.

Earlier this year, the European Commission approved Recarbrio (imipenem/cilastatin/relebactam) for the treatment of infections caused by aerobic Gram-negative organisms in adults with limited treatment options.

The regimen combines MSD’s imipenem/cilastin duo with a new beta lactamase inhibitor called relebactam that is designed to restore susceptibility to imipenem in resistant strains.

In a pivotal phase 3 trial of adult patients with infections caused by imipenem-nonsusceptible Gram-negative bacteria, Recarbrio was comparable to the combination of imipenem/cilastatin plus colistin: 71% and 70%, respectively.

Colistin is a drug which was first introduced in the 1950s that has been resurrected to help fight challenging Gram-negative infections. The result was particularly significant, given that colistin is often reserved as a ‘last-line’ therapeutic for Gram-negative infections, although the drug can have significant side-effects including kidney damage.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 700,000 people die each year worldwide because of drug-resistant infections.

Despite the urgent need for new therapeutics to tackle the growing incidence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), few pharmaceutical companies are undertaking research in this area.

This is mainly due to the fact that when new antibiotics are launched, they are often held in reserve and used only to treat the most resistant infections.

Earlier this year, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Association (IFPMA) raised nearly $1bn to support clinical research into new antibiotics in a bid to tackle AMR.

The aptly named AMR Action Fund is aiming to bring two to four new antibiotics to patients by 2030. The launch of the fund resulted from a collaboration between 20 biopharmaceutical companies, including MSD, the European Investment Bank (EIB), Wellcome Trust and the WHO.

Last year, the UK launched a subscription-style payment model aimed at incentivising pharma and biotech companies to develop new drugs needed to tackle resistant infections.

The new subscription trial, led by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and NHS England and Improvement will see pharmaceutical companies paid upfront for access to drugs based on their usefulness to the NHS.

“The world risks losing the most powerful tool in medicine: antibiotics. AMR is an urgent threat that, over time, could affect us all and have public health and economic consequences even greater than COVID-19, unless we act now,” said David Peacock, managing director of MSD in the UK and Ireland.

“Current reimbursement frameworks simply do not support the level of sustained R&D investment that is needed to tackle AMR. While the UK’s efforts to pilot a new subscription model of antibiotic reimbursement is a step in the right direction, its scope is limited, and it remains unclear if the overall level of funding attributed to this scheme will prove sufficient to incentivise much needed investment,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

18th November 2020

From: Regulatory



COVID-19 Updates and Daily News

Featured jobs


Add my company
Blue Latitude Health

Blue Latitude Health is a creative marketing consultancy. Founded in 2003, our combination of heritage, approach and capability gives us...

Latest intelligence

The Patient Will See You Now – The Evolution of the Doctor-Patient Relationship
The doctor-patient relationship is an ever changing one that changes as society changes. Technology then helps to drive this change along with a wide number of other factors....
Mind the Gap – Challenging Immunisation Apathy and Misinformation
world, the biggest challenges remain apathy and misinformation. Since a measles vaccine was introduced in the UK in 1968, Public Health England estimates that 20 million measles cases and 4,500...
Towards Better HCP Engagement – An Email Masterclass
6% of HCPs prefer being contacted by email, compared to 17% who favour the second most popular option: direct interaction with reps....