Trius Therapeutics Offers Further Validation

| About: Merck & (MRK)
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Trius Therapeutics, Inc. (TSRX) announced additional news about its lead antibiotic drug candidate, tedizolid phosphate, providing validation of the future potential of this product and the company. The company will be presenting posters at the inaugural IDWeek conference in San Diego, Calif., from Oct. 17 to Oct. 21. The event will be a joint meeting of the Infectious Disease Society of America, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the HIV Medicine Association, and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society.

The presentations will consist of two tedizolid-related posters and will include the results of multiple studies and clinical and safety results. The clinical abstracts examine the hematological effect of tedizolid and linezolid in patients with acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI), as well as pharmacokinetics in an adolescent population. The abstracts describe one poster presentation from the ESTABLISH 1 trial (formerly known as the TR-701-112 trial) summarizing the detailed hematological results from Trius' first Phase III trial of tedizolid in patients with ABSSSI. Company officials stated that this is the first time these sets of data are being presented at a major medical meeting. Top-line results for the ESTABLISH 1 trial, originally reported in December 2011, showed that tedizolid achieved all primary and secondary efficacy outcomes after a short course of therapy. They also showed significant improvements in key safety and tolerability measurements in the complete study population vs. the comparator linezolid (Zyvox). This is the first of two registrational studies for tedizolid.

Tedizolid is the company's lead product candidate and Trius has been making great strides, consistently meeting milestones in advancing it toward commercialization. Tedizolid is a once daily, IV and orally administered oxazolidinone being developed for the treatment of serious gram-positive infections, including those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Trius has been moving forward in significant business and clinical announcements the past years. Recently, the company successfully obtained up to $25 million of a committed equity financing facility (ELOC) with Terrapin Opportunity, L.P., to be potentially used over a 24-month period. The ELOC positions Trius to use, at its discretion and without use commitment, the funds for general business operations or for selective other reasons as drug commercialization purposes. Recent positive news has consisted of a "buy" rating by WBB securities (at a $7.00 share target) and a Zack's report projecting $12.00.

Trius is currently trading at $5.70, up from approximately $5.00 in May of this year, but by some analysts' projections (as noted) still representing an inexpensive buy-in. The company is also on the lower end of their 52-week amount of $4.71-$8.00, with seemingly nowhere to go but the obvious.

The poster presentations specifics are as follows:

  • Friday, Oct. 19, Poster Session -- Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (12:30 p.m. PT to 2:00 p.m. PT)
  • Saturday, Oct. 20, Poster Session -- PK/PD Studies (12:30 p.m. PT to 2:00 p.m. PT)

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.