GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its antibacterial Altabax for the topical treatment of impetigo due to susceptible strains of Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes, the two most common types of bacteria in this kind of infection.
Altabax represents the first new class of prescription topical antibacterials to be approved by the FDA in nearly two decades.
Altabax is indicated for use twice daily for a five-day period in patients nine months of age and older. Other prescription topical antibacterials are used as much as three times daily for up to 12 days.
?The introduction of Altabax comes at a time when antibiotic resistance is at an increasingly high level,? said Stan Block, MD, President, Kentucky Pediatric and Adult Research Inc. ?Altabax provides clinicians with a convenient new means to effectively fight the bacteria that cause impetigo through an effect that is different from other antibiotics. In vitro, this new topical antibiotic has shown a low potential for the development of resistance, possibly because it works in a unique manner compared to other antibiotics.?
Impetigo is a highly contagious infection of the top layers of the skin and is most common among infants and children ages 2 to 6 years. Children are especially susceptible to infections because their immune systems are still developing. Impetigo spreads easily in schools and child care settings, as well as anywhere groups of people are in close contact.