What is Ceftazidime-avibactam?

Madeline King, PharmD, assistant professor of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, discusses ceftazidime-avibactam and its uses.

Madeline King, PharmD, assistant professor of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, discusses ceftazidime-avibactam and its uses.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Ceftazidime-avibactam (Avycaz) is [an interesting] antibiotic [that] was just approved in 2015. What’s [interesting] about it is that it was approved based on phase II data, which is not typical of antibiotics — we usually wait until [there is] phase III data, which means that it is being tested in patients. It was basically approved off of a lot of in-vitro data, partly because ceftazidime itself, which is a component of the antibiotic, has been approved for decades, so we know the safety of that drug.

Seeing these in-vitro results of ceftazidime-avibactam against gram-negative infections was promising. The problem is we have a lot of gram-negative resistance right now, [meaning] a lot of gram-negative organisms have developed resistance to most of the antibiotics that we have. We have something called CRE infections, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infections or carbapenem-resistant pseudomonal infections. Those pose a huge threat to public health, so we need new antibiotics; [therefore], the FDA and the government are trying to approve antibiotics faster, [and] this is one of those antibiotics.

It’s a [very interesting] agent. We’re hoping that it’s going to work really well for these [extremely] resistant organisms. The other [interesting] thing about it is the avibactam component, which is the beta-lactamase inhibitor is reversible, whereas others that have been approved in the past aren’t. Once it’s kind of done its job, it can go back and work again. It’s a pretty [great] antibiotic that we’re hoping is going to do a lot of good things.”