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Merck & Co.'s Zerbaxa succeeds in phase 3 pneumonia trial

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Merck & Co. Inc. said the phase 3 trial of its antibiotic Zerbaxa in certain types of pneumonia met its main goal.

Results from the phase 3 study, dubbed Aspect-NP, showed that Zerbaxa, or ceftolozane and tazobactam, worked as well as meropenem in treating patients with either ventilated hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia or ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia.

Meropenem is sold by Merck & Co. and AstraZeneca PLC as Invanz and Merrem, respectively.

Zerbaxa is used as a single treatment for treating complicated urinary tract infections caused by certain Gram-negative microorganisms and combined with metronidazole for treating complicated intra-abdominal infections caused by certain Gram-negative and Gram-positive microorganisms.

The Kenilworth, N.J.-based drugmaker plans to seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency for the new indication based on the results of the phase 3 trial.