Cipla USA furthers AMR stewardship with acquisition of key anti-infective ZEMDRI

Cipla USA to hold worldwide rights (excluding Greater China) of ZEMDRI™ (IV Plazomicin), an IV aminoglycoside with once-daily dosing for cUTI in adults, with proven activity against certain drug-resistant bacteria


New Jersey/Mumbai: The leading global pharmaceutical company, Cipla Limited has announced the acquisition of the prescription drug ZEMDRI™ (Plazomicin) from Achaogen in Chapter 11, U.S. Bankruptcy Code auction of latter’s assets.

Cipla USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Cipla Limited has acquired worldwide rights of ZEMDRI (excluding Greater China) with its allied assets and limited liabilities.

ZEMDRI is a once-daily novel intravenous (IV) aminoglycoside for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI), including pyelonephritis, in adults who are unresponsive to currently available treatment options. ZEMDRI was approved by the United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) in June 2018, and was launched in the same year, with patent protection expected to continue until 2031 or 2032. It has been granted a new technology add-on payment (NTAP) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), for its administration in a hospital in-patient setting. The product has also been filed for approval in the European Union (EU).

ZEMDRI™ is the latest milestone in Cipla’s history of proactive and humanitarian leadership in enabling access to life-saving drugs. In 2001, at the height of the global HIV movement, Cipla changed the treatment paradigm with its offer of a triple combination anti-retroviral therapy at less than a dollar a day in Africa against the prevailing price of around USD 12,000 a year for one patient. With anti-microbial resistance (AMR) today being an urgent global healthcare challenge, Cipla has been at the forefront of AMR stewardship. Plazomicin is a novel antibiotic effective against some of the cUTI-causing gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics including carbapenems. Clinical studies have shown sustained microbiological eradication of the bacteria with Plazomicin.

Cipla is a signatory to the Industry Declaration on AMR at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2016 that laid out a roadmap to combat AMR. An independent analysis released by the Access to Medicine Foundation in January 2018 identified Cipla as one of the drug-makers leading the effort to curb overuse of antibiotics, and implement production and source systems that help prevent environmental release of antibiotics1. Its Antibiotic Benchmark Report recognised Cipla for its work in educating healthcare practitioners (HCPs), illustrating AMR trends in marketing material, adapting packaging to support rational use, and engaging in AMR surveillance2. In India, Cipla has a long history of antibiotic development from ampicillin in the 1970s to quinolones in the 1990s. More recently, Cipla introduced the extremely effective antibiotic colistin in India.

Commenting on the development, Mr Umang Vohra, Managing Director and Global Chief Executive Officer, Cipla, mentioned: “The acquisition of ZEMDRI deepens our pipeline of specialty products in the U.S. in our identified focus areas of central nervous system, lung delivery of medicines, and institutionally administered products. With a robust front-end commercial infrastructure for U.S. hospital sales in place, we expect to extract strong synergy from our IV Plazomicin and IV Tramadol assets. Cipla has been a leading industry voice in the fight against AMR and our expertise in manufacturing, marketing and conducting educational programs in the antibiotic segment makes us well-placed to take ZEMDRI globally to expand our leadership position.”