April 04, 2024

Basilea announces US FDA approval of antibiotic ZEVTERA® (ceftobiprole medocaril) for three indications



Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR

Allschwil, Switzerland, April 04, 2024

Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd, Allschwil (SIX: BSLN), a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to meeting the needs of patients with severe bacterial and fungal infections, announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ZEVTERA® (ceftobiprole medocaril sodium for injection), for the treatment of adult patients with Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections (bacteremia) (SAB), including those with right-sided infective endocarditis, and adult patients with acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI) and for adult and pediatric patients (3 months to less than 18 years old) with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP).

David Veitch, Chief Executive Officer of Basilea, said: “We are excited with the US approval of ZEVTERA. The positive decision by the FDA is a key milestone towards bringing ZEVTERA to patients in the US. ZEVTERA has 10 years of market exclusivity from the date of approval and we believe the US provides the most important global commercial opportunity for the brand.”

Dr. Marc Engelhardt, Chief Medical Officer of Basilea, stated: “We are very pleased that the FDA approved ZEVTERA for all three indications that were submitted with the NDA, including a pediatric labelling. This approval is a landmark for ceftobiprole and reflects its broad clinical utility. The indication in adult patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, including those with right-sided infective endocarditis, caused by methicillin-susceptible and methicillin-resistant isolates, MSSA and MRSA, addresses a real medical need, as current treatment options are limited.”

The New Drug Application (NDA) was supported by clinical efficacy and safety data from the phase 3 studies ERADICATE (SAB)1 and TARGET (ABSSSI),2 and a phase 3 study in CABP.3 The ERADICATE study was the largest double-blind randomized registrational study conducted for a new antibiotic treatment in SAB.

Vance G. Fowler, Jr., M.D., Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at the Duke University School of Medicine and academic lead investigator of the ERADICATE study, commented: “Complicated Staphylococcus aureus infections have a high mortality rate and are associated with substantial morbidity. We need more options for treating these infections, especially if MRSA is involved.”

Thomas Holland, M.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Duke University School of Medicine and chair of the data review committee of the ERADICATE study, added: “There is a high medical need in Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, therefore, the first approval of a therapy for this indication in over 15 years is highly welcome.”

Adesh Kaul, Chief Financial Officer of Basilea, added: “As we were moving towards completion of the regulatory review, especially with increasing visibility on the expected label, the external interest for commercial partnering increased. Whilst our initial goal was to have announced a commercial partnership by the time of approval of ZEVTERA in the US, in order to explore fully all potential partnering opportunities, we now expect to complete the process around mid-year. In parallel, we are also taking preparatory steps to shorten the launch timelines, once we have entered into a commercialization partnership.”

Basilea’s phase 3 program for ceftobiprole is funded in part with federal funds from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR); Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), under contract number HHSO100201600002C. Through this partnership, Basilea has been awarded approximately USD 112 million, or approximately 75 percent of the costs related to the SAB and ABSSSI phase 3 studies, regulatory activities and non-clinical work.

About ZEVTERA® (ceftobiprole medocaril sodium for injection)

Ceftobiprole, the active moiety of the prodrug ceftobiprole medocaril, is an advanced generation cephalosporin antibiotic for intravenous administration, with rapid bactericidal activity against a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin-resistant strains (MRSA), and Gram-negative bacteria.4 In several countries in Europe and beyond, the brand is currently approved and marketed as Zevtera® and Mabelio® for the treatment of adult patients with hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia (HABP), excluding ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia (VABP), and for the treatment of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP). Basilea has entered into license and distribution agreements covering more than 80 countries. In the United States, ZEVTERA is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections (bacteremia) (SAB), including right-sided infective endocarditis, and adult patients with acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI) and for adult and pediatric patients (3 months to less than 18 years old) with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP).

Important US safety information for ZEVTERA (ceftobiprole medocaril sodium for injection)


ZEVTERA is contraindicated in patients with a known history of severe hypersensitivity to ZEVTERA, or to other members of the cephalosporin class.

Warnings and precautions

  • Increased Mortality with Unapproved use in Ventilator-Associated Bacterial Pneumonia (VABP) Patients: The safety and effectiveness of ZEVTERA for the treatment of VABP has not been established and the use of ZEVTERA for VABP is not approved.
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions: Discontinue ZEVTERA if a hypersensitivity reaction occurs, and institute appropriate treatment.
  • Seizures and other adverse central nervous system (CNS) reactions have been associated with the use of ZEVTERA. If seizures or other CNS adverse reactions occur, evaluate patients to determine whether ZEVTERA should be discontinued.
  • Clostridioides difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with nearly all systemic antibacterial agents, including ZEVTERA. Evaluate if diarrhea occurs.

Adverse reactions

  • SAB (adult patients): The most common adverse reactions occurring in ≥ 4% of adult patients were anemia, nausea, hypokalemia, vomiting, hepatic enzyme and bilirubin increased, diarrhea, blood creatinine increased, hypertension, leukopenia and pyrexia.
  • ABSSSI (adult patients): The most common adverse reactions occurring in ≥ 2% of adult patients were nausea, diarrhea, headache, injection site reaction, hepatic enzyme increased, rash, vomiting, and dysgeusia.
  • CABP (adult and pediatric patients 3 months to less than 18 years of age):
    • Adult Patients: The most common adverse reactions occurring in ≥ 2% of adult patients were nausea, hepatic enzyme increased, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, rash, insomnia, abdominal pain, phlebitis, hypertension and dizziness.
    • Pediatric Patients: The most common adverse reactions occurring in ≥ 2% of pediatric patients were vomiting, headache, hepatic enzyme increased, diarrhea, infusion site reaction, phlebitis and pyrexia.

For full US prescribing information, please visit here: www.basilea.com/ZEVTERA_US_prescribing_information_46b9y4wk

About Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB)

Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) is a serious bloodstream infection associated with significant morbidity and mortality.5 Complications include concomitant infections such as bone, joint or heart valve infections, persistent bacteremia or bacteremia in patients on dialysis. With a 30-day all-cause mortality of around 20% there is a high medical need for improved therapies for SAB.6

About acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI)

Acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI) are common infections in the healthcare setting. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common pathogen associated with these infections, which can be difficult to treat if methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is involved.7

About community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP)

Community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. It is the leading cause of infectious disease-related death in the US.8

About Basilea

Basilea is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company founded in 2000 and headquartered in Switzerland. We are committed to discovering, developing and commercializing innovative drugs to meet the needs of patients with severe bacterial and fungal infections. We have successfully launched two hospital brands, Cresemba for the treatment of invasive fungal infections and Zevtera for the treatment of bacterial infections. In addition, we have preclinical and clinical anti-infective assets in our portfolio. Basilea is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX: BSLN). Please visit basilea.com.


This communication expressly or implicitly contains certain forward-looking statements, such as "believe", "assume", "expect", "forecast", "project", "may", "could", "might", "will" or similar expressions concerning Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd, Allschwil and its business, including with respect to the progress, timing and completion of research, development and clinical studies for product candidates. Such statements involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd, Allschwil to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd, Allschwil is providing this communication as of this date and does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For further information, please contact:

Peer Nils Schröder, PhD

Head of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations
Basilea Pharmaceutica International Ltd, Allschwil
Hegenheimermattweg 167b
4123 Allschwil
Phone +41 61 606 1102
E-mail media_relations@basilea.com

This ad hoc announcement can be downloaded from www.basilea.com.


  1. ERADICATE study (SAB): ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT03138733
    T. L. Holland, S. E. Cosgrove, S. B. Doernberg et al. Ceftobiprole for treatment of complicated Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia. New England Journal of Medicine 2023 (389), 1390-1401; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2300220
  2. TARGET study (ABSSSI): ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT03137173
    J. S. Overcash, C. Kim, R. Keech et al. Ceftobiprole compared with vancomycin plus aztreonam in the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections: Results of a phase 3, randomized, double-blind trial (TARGET). Clinical Infectious Diseases 2021 (73), e1507-e1517
  3. CABP study: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT00326287
    S. C. Nicholson, T. Welte, T. M. File Jr. et al. A randomised, double-blind trial comparing ceftobiprole medocaril with ceftriaxone with or without linezolid for the treatment of patients with community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospitalization. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 2012 (39), 240-246
  4. Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) Zevtera: www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/9164/smpc [Accessed: April 03, 2024]
  5. A. P. Kourtis, K. Hatfield, J. Baggs et al. Vital signs: Epidemiology and recent trends in methicillin-resistant and in methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections – United States. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2019 (68), 214-219
  6. K. Hamed, M. Engelhardt, M. E. Jones et al. Ceftobiprole versus daptomycin in Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia: a novel protocol for a double-blind, Phase III trial. Future Microbiology 2020 (1), 35-48
  7. J. Edelsberg, C. Taneja, M. Zervos et al. Trends in US hospital admissions for skin and soft tissue infections. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2009 (15), 1516-1518
  8. J. A. Ramirez, T. L. Wiemken, P. Peyrani et al. Adults hospitalized with pneumonia in the United States: Incidence, epidemiology, and mortality. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2017 (65), 1807-1812


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