Merck Announces Positive Phase 2 Results for UTI Treatment

Patients who received relebactam in combination with imipenem/cilastatin had a favorable microbiological response of 95.5 to 98.6%.

Merck recently announced a phase 2 study of relebactam in combination with imipenem/cilastatin for patients with complicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) met its primary endpoint.

Relebactam is an experimental beta-lactamase inhibitor that could potentially restore the activity of imipenem against resistant strains of bacteria, according to a press release. The study included 302 patients with complicated UTIs or acute pyelonephritis who either received relebactam 250-mg, relebactam 125-mg, or placebo in combination with imipenem/cilastatin.

The study met its primary endpoint, which was the proportion of patients with a favorable microbiological response. Researchers found similar results among the treatment groups.

They also found that the most common adverse effects were headache, diarrhea, and nausea. There are currently 2 ongoing phase 3 clinical trials of relebactam in combination with imipenem/cilastatin.

“New medicines are urgently needed to address the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” concluded Dr. Amanda Paschke, director of infectious disease clinical research at Merck Research Laboratories. “We look forward to advancing our Phase 3 clinical program evaluating relebactam in combination with imipenem for use in the treatment of several complicated Gram-negative bacterial infections, and to continue to build on Merck's commitment to addressing infectious diseases.”