Basilea Pharmaceutica has launched its new broad-spectrum antibiotic Cephalosporin Zevtera across the UK for the first-line treatment of serious bacterial pneumonia, offering patients a new weapon in the fight against the infection.

According to the Swiss biotech, Zevtera (ceftobiprole medocaril) is the only antibiotic approved as a monotherapy in the UK for community-acquired (CAP) and hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) that is also effective against the notorious superbug Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and various gram-negative pathogens.

New antibiotics are urgently needed given the snowballing threat of antimicrobial resistance, the global cost of which is estimated to hit £100 trillion by 2050, claiming 10 million extra lives a year.

In clinical trials, Zevtera showed non-inferiority to currently used antibiotics for CAP and HAP, and post-hoc-analyses of the data also show an early clinical response for Basilea’s new drug compared to a standard combination of antibiotics. 

On the safety side, the next generation cephalosporin was also found to be well-tolerated, the most common side effects (reported by 3% or more patients) being nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, infusion site reactions, hypersensitivity and taste impairment.