Shares of Paratek Pharmaceuticals $PRTK shot up more than 30% Wednesday morning after Bloomberg posted a story saying that the biotech had put itself up on the auction block, exploring a sale amid takeover interest as it nears a regulatory pitch for a new antibiotic.
Just a few weeks ago Paratek heralded its third straight positive study for oral omadacycline, which lined up nicely as a non-inferior alternative to linezolid. Researchers did have to report that the Paratek antibiotic spurred problems with a higher rate of nausea and vomiting, but execs felt the difference wasn’t big enough to mar its chances as physicians look for new weapons in the war against drug-resistant, community-acquired infections.
The Paratek team registered an 87.5% response rate for their antibiotic against 82.5% for the industry standard in the latest study.
While a few biotechs have been busy building new antibiotics, encouraged by new incentives to reward success, Big Pharma has remained leery of the market opportunity in a field where cheap generics maintain a tight grip on the bulk of the market. But some developers see the equation changing in their favor over the next few years, which could bring some big players in off the sidelines.
Paratek will now look to see just how much interest there is. But there’s no guarantee that anything will come of this process, as Tesaro $TSRO recently found out when it went through much the same thing.
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