FDA expands Merck antibiotic indication to pneumonia treatment

June 4, 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved expanded use of Merck's antibiotic Zerbaxa to treat hospital-acquired pneumonia in patients 18 years and older.

The FDA initially approved Zerbaxa in 2014 to treat complicated intra-abdominal infections and for complicated urinary tract infections.

According to the FDA, hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia are serious infections that can result in death in some patients. These infections are currently the second most common type of hospital-acquired infection in the United States, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Zerbaxa indication comes off the heels of a a multinational, double-blind study that compared Zerbaxa to another antibacterial drug in 726 adult patients hospitalized with hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia. The study showed that mortality and cure rates were similar.

Read the full FDA release.