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3 Antibiotic Stocks Targeting Most Urgent Bacterial Threats

Neisseria gonorrhoeae: This bacteria strain is responsible for about 246,000 infections a year but is not nearly as deadly as the other two threats. Yet neisseria is highly prevalent and is the second most common infection with about 800,000 U.S. cases reported in 2011. About 30% of reported cases of neisseria infection are resistant to currently approved drugs, which is why the U.S. government labels the bacteria an urgent threat.

Cempra (CEMP - Get Report) is developing solithromycin, which in a phase II study demonstrated a 100% cure rate against uncomplicated urogenital gonorrhea. It's not clear how many of these patients had drug-resistant strains. Pre-clinical data suggests solithromycin would have strong activity against resistant strains. Cempra has not disclosed additional development plans in this area as it is looking for non-dilutive funding, which should not be a large hurdle given the need and solithromycin's apparent activity.

Tetraphase has also recently published some data showing eravacycline efficacy in drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Sobek is long Cempra and Tetraphase.
David Sobek has been writing on biotech for a number of years through various outlets with a general focus on small cap oncology and antibiotics companies. He received his PhD in political science from Pennsylvnia State Univeristy in 2003 and a BA in international relations from The College of William and Mary in 1997.
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