Duke study of single-dose antibiotic used for bacterial skin infections appears in NEJM

Monday, June 9, 2014

In the battle against stubborn skin infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a new single-dose antibiotic is as effective as a twice-daily infusion given for up to 10 days, according to a large study led by Duke Medicine researchers.

Researchers said the advantage of the new drug, oritavancin, is its potential to curtail what has been a key driver of antibiotic resistance: a tendency for patients to stop taking antibiotics once they feel better. In such instances, the surviving bacteria may become impervious to the drugs designed to fight them.

“The prolonged activity is what makes oritavancin distinctive,” said G. Ralph Corey, MD, lead author of the study published June 5, 2014, in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). “This drug has a long half-life, which allows for a single-dose treatment.”

Dr. Corey, a professor of medicine (Infectious Diseases), led a three-year study of oritavancin that encompassed two large clinical trials enrolling nearly 2,000 patients. Findings from the trials will be presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as part of the drug’s approval application.

Read the full news release.

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