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Novartis buys US biotech firm Protez

Novartis has bought US-based Protez Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth up to $400 million, giving it the rights to an antibiotic that could be used to fight superbugs such as MRSA.

The Swiss drug maker will initially pay $100 million for privately held Protez, with a potential for up to $300 million of additional payments depending on the success of the antibiotic PZ-601.

The emergence of superbugs such as MRSA, which are resistant to existing medicines, has increased the need for alternative treatments and refocused attention on antibiotics.

“The acquisition of Protez Pharmaceuticals provides rights to PZ-601 and further strengthens the speciality medicines development portfolio in hospital infections,” Novartis said in a statement.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR