May 21, 2018 / 12:01 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 2-Nabriva's pneumonia drug succeeds late-stage study, shares surge

* Second late-stage study meets main goal Co to seek approval for drug in Q4 2018

* Shares surge more than 20 percent premarket (Adds details, executive comment, share price)

May 21 (Reuters) - Nabriva Therapeutics Plc said on Monday its antibiotic to treat adults with a common form of pneumonia met the main goal of a second late-stage study, putting the company on track to file for the drug's approval in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The study showed that antibiotic drug Lefamulin is as potent as commonly used treatments. But since it belongs to a new class of medicine, it could prove to be effective in combating increasingly resistant "superbugs".

Lefamulin is the company's lead experimental treatment and belongs to a group of drugs called pleuromutilin antibiotics, which inhibit growth of a protein that is required for bacteria to grow.

"We are one step closer to potentially making a much-needed new class of antibiotics available to patients and health care providers," Chief Medical Officer Jennifer Schranz said in a statement.

SunTrust analysts, in a note published earlier this month, estimated worldwide peak sales of $684 million for Lefamulin.

Shares of the Ireland-based drugmaker surged 21.6 percent to $6.59 in trading before the bell.

Current options to treat community-acquired bacterial pneumonia include antibiotics called fluoroquinolones that are declining in use due to rising resistance, Wedbush analyst Robert Driscoll said in a note on Wednesday.

At least 2 million become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and at least 23,000 die each year in the United States due to these infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lefamulin succeeded in another late-stage study in CABP patients last September. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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