Tygacil (tigecycline), a new, expanded broad-spectrum IV antibiotic for the treatment of a wide range of infections including those caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), 1 will be available in the UK from today. Availability of this new antibiotic comes at a time when the need for effective new treatments is greater than ever and clinicians are running out of options.2, 3
"Difficult to treat, antibiotic-resistant and often life-threatening infections are a growing problem in the UK, costing the NHS an estimated additional £1 billion annually," says Dr Robert Masterton, Executive Medical Director and Consultant Microbiologist, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, "Even more worrying has been the emergence of the organisms commonly called 'superbugs' – those very worrying bacteria that have become resistant to a large number and in some cases all available antibiotics. Add to this the diminishing development of new antibiotics in the last 20 years and we could soon see a return to the Florence Nightingale era where infections caused more death than bullets because there were no effective drugs to treat these diseases. The introduction of tigecycline in the UK comes at absolutely the right time and will provide a vital new weapon in the fight against infection."
Tigecycline has been licensed for use in the UK as a treatment for a variety of complicated skin and soft tissue infections including infected wounds and complicated intra- abdominal infections such as complicated appendicitis.1 It is the world's first glycylcycline and has been developed by Wyeth to overcome two common mechanisms of resistance that have reduced the efficacy and limited the use of certain existing antibiotics.1
While MRSA has received wide media and government attention and concern in the UK, other infections like Escherichia Coli (E. Coli) and Klebsiella could pose an even greater risk to public health.4, 5 Tigecycline is one of a few new antibiotics with measured activity against these bacteria6 and there are few other antibiotics with a similar spectrum of activity expected this decade.6
"Until now, the lack of available antibiotic options for these more difficult to treat bacteria has necessitated the use of combination therapies – two or more different antibiotics – to fight the resistant bacteria," explains Dr Mark Palazzo, Chief of Service for Critical Care Medicine at Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, "Combination treatment can contribute to increased drug costs, drug interactions, with potentially higher patient risk and further increased antibiotic resistance which complicates the treatment. It would be an advantage for patient care to have the option of a new single effective therapy" he concludes.
Serious infections treated in the hospital are a major cause of morbidity and death among hospitalised patients worldwide.7 In the UK alone, hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) account for a staggering 5,000 deaths per year.8 It is estimated that these infections affect just over 300,000 patients every year9 with about nine per cent of hospital patients having a HAI at any one time.8
Tigecycline was licensed by the European Commission for use in Europe on 24th April 2006 and is available in the UK today. Tigecycline is indicated for the treatment of complicated infections of the skin and soft tissue and complicated intra-abdominal infections.1 Tigecycline is supported by comprehensive global in vitro studies and an in vivo clinical trials programme.
The most common adverse events reported in clinical trials with tigecycline were nausea and vomiting. These occurred early in the treatment and were generally mild or moderate in severity.1
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE:WYE), has leading products in the areas of women's health care, cardiovascular disease, central nervous system, inflammation, transplantation, haemophilia, oncology, vaccines and nutritional products. Wyeth has a diverse portfolio of biopharmaceutical products and is currently marketing seven of these products. Wyeth is one of the world's largest research-driven pharmaceutical and health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing, and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products and nonprescription medicines that improve the quality of life for people worldwide. The Company's major divisions include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, and Fort Dodge Animal Health.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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